Friday, December 5, 2008

Primitive Mouth Shapes

we set greedily at the mouths of creeks
dogeaters in nicotine stain light
approximating the shape and mass 
of dark floors, mudbanks 
crustaceans with willing mouths, claws akimbo
poised to do dirty work.

we imagine mouths making clicking
machinations as tolerances are met though 
in a more primitive sense like impressions 
made in soft bone, gold caps
secreted molars where light is a heavy varnish
covering the places you've scrubbed too thin.

This is how the tide lets out:  a gradual
slipping like you don't even consider 
the leeching of bones, the fossil records 
there beneath you, the shifting of marrow to clay
Every one thing is a solid framework of holes
and the acquiescence of skin cells to dust 

Is not a relenting, so much or letting go
but becoming the fecundity of humus.