V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





It turned and made a wave
among bramble and floating twigs—

it heaved with an answer and breathed
heaving against the swirl of the dark;

it did not understand the pin-prick
that could make blood ooze—that could

cause dizziness in its head; it remained
coiled and belched fire like a dragon;

it knew its ancestry without knowledge
of Jung—it merely kept its eyes open

and watched other beasts take their turn
to swallow. It heaved for flesh, it snorkled

with an ear-flap that was missing before.
It moved forward and stretched its body

like tentacles—outdoing an octopus in rage.
It understood the message of viscera—

blood and pulp and algae around its lungs—
it didn’t mind; it simply cleared things

out of the way and rested peacefully
in a sluggish mire to grow more cells

that would swallow and absorb; that would
dream how things long past could survive.

© by Cyril Dabydeen


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