Monday, May 17, 2010

Ancient Theories

By Nick Lantz

A horse hair falls into the water and grows into an eel.
Even Aristotle believed that frogs
formed from mud,
that mice sprouted like seedlings in the damp hay.

I used to believe the world spoke
in code. I lay awake
and tried to parse the flashes of the streetlight—
obscured, revealed,
obscured by the wind-sprung tree.
Stranded with you at the Ferris wheel's apogee
I learned the physics
of desire—fixed at the center,
it spins and goes nowhere.

Pliny described eight-foot lobsters
sunning themselves
on the banks of the Ganges. The cuckoo devouring
its foster mother. Bees alighting
on Plato's young lips.

In the Andes, a lake disappears overnight, sucked
through cracks in the earth.
How can I explain
the sunlight stippling your face in the early morning?

Why not believe that the eye throws its own light,
that seeing illuminates
the world?
On the moon,
astronaut David Scott drops a hammer and a falcon feather,
and we learn nothing
we didn't already know.

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