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Summer Sapphics


Maybe things are better than we imagine

if a rubber inner-tube still can send us

drifting down a sinuous, tree-draped river

like the Wisconsin—


far removed from spores of touristococcus.

As we bob half-in and half-out of water

with our legs like tentacles, dangling limply

under the surface


we are like invertebrate creatures, floating

on a cosmic droplet—a caravan of

giant-sized amoebas, without a clear-cut

sense of direction.


It's as if we've started evolving backwards:

mammal, reptile, polliwog, protozoon—

toward that dark primordial soup we seem so

eager to get to.


Funny, how warm water will whisper secrets

in its native language to every cell—yet

we, the aggregation, have just begun to

fathom the gestures.


Marilyn L. Taylor



© 1999; originally printed in Poetry magazine.
Reprinted by permission.

Background by
Purple Woods

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