Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Myth Concerning Darwin

Darwin evolved into God after breeding with the elements,
each one alone, until he combined them in his harem—

seducing Fire with promises of virgin timber,
whispering sonnets into Air’s ear,
massaging Earth with his fingers.

But Water would not be won with words or presents—
she felt she was too good for him,

running away as a vapor when he tried to kiss her,
squirming and squishing free from his embrace,
falling at his feet in mock surrender as the rain.

At last he caught her at Lake Grasmere,
but he only slipped on her frozen back, bruising his tailbone.

She held him captive in her hand for five years on the Beagle,
until he agreed to make her queen and mother of his firstborn.

Darwin sat in Heaven, observing the world,
eyes full, mouth with smiling teeth—

particularly enjoying shed cocoons,
the way the pigeons hovered at Trafalgar Square,
and the barnacles that clung to rocks to spite the sea.

It is revenge on Water he proclaimed and laughed—
then later, cried,
he could not make love to her in Heaven.

He took out a blindfold to cover his eyes,
but he saw through it.

He tried to cut himself so that blood would fall to the air,
but his skin was impenetrable.

At last he came to the realization that he could no longer
do anything except watch.

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