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Summer/Fall 2019

Somewhere On Earth

 

by Michael Kocinski

 

Somewhere on Earth, the passing of a season

is a lifetime. You are an egg on the underside

of a leaf, or half of you is swimming upstream

and the other half is a memory lodged behind a stone.

 

Under a bright sun we await your birth—

you break out spindly or pour out screaming.

Sometimes your mother is the sun and she

fills your limbs with heat and your wings

with color and function. Sometimes your

mother is the sun, and her breasts are the knot

that tie you down to a clump of grass, cradled

arms or black soil under a fallen tree.

 

Before we spend our skins a final time,

or grow too small for them, we live beneath

or within a stained glass canopy,

and jerk against the spider’s web if we’re caught,

or dapple ourselves with sunlight as we

move through the small world looking

for new things to eat, another one like ourselves

to love, a home to start the cycle over again.

 

When the cold comes, leave, or freeze.

You can sleep under barks or leaves. Some

of us go to sleep and never wake up, it’s okay.

As we crisp and wrinkle and become a church

for new life to worship in, the Earth brightens

into white stillness, and you’ll rise as pollen,

golden motes floating in your mother’s arms.

 

 

[Check out Michael Kockinski's back porch advice]