It is a heated dawn, a few hearty neighbors have left
for an early start to beach houses or to beat traffic to work.
It is quiet for stirring the sugar cube plopped in my coffee.
It occurs to me, astronomers figure a comet, a chunk
of some cosmic explosion, containing the miracle element,
oxygen, crashed here hundreds of millions of years ago,
to evolve into oceans, atmosphere, wilderness and now
these thoughts. The religious believe it was the Almighty
casting prideful Satan down trapped to slither.
So a shaman must be like a detached grain of sugar,
having dove through the earth’s crust, swimming in the bitter.
I take the hot, sweet spoon into my mouth and lick it.
Sun shines through the open window, but never reaches
the bottom of the cup nor the ocean floor, where volcanic
black smokers spew up bits of earth’s fireball core
and where gardens of white crabs and tube worms colonize,
fed by microbes feeding bacteria, the source of animal life,
drifting like frozen pollen through a sneezy June wind at night.
My coffee is getting cold. I cannot stay here all day, a solo
octopus scavenging submerged sand. I must get into my car,
shoot past mulling fish, take one last gulp and, God help me,
leap like the magnificent wahoo I am for the nebula where I belong.
As published in The Quarterly Journal of Ideology Volume 25, 2002.