Poems

Asian Carp

 

are slipping through, as the lamprey did, 

and the zebra mussels, the Irish, the Mexicans, 

through holes in the fence, upsetting our delicate 

craft, carp huge and leaping, taking jobs 

as dance instructors, flinging their scarves 

of water, displaying how far even the awkardest 

gesture can go, 

how their scarves are made of tears,

carp dressed for a blind date with history,

accompanied by circus music, slosh and oompah, 

each and each, upward spikes, the neighbor’s 

radio or their fighting, who can tell? 

O world that does not know holy from 

unholy, that provides no fabric labels, here is 

tender flesh flying headlong into the boat, 

here is the breeze carrying even the tiniest

GMOs gently across, an exultation of fittingness:

carp the size of rowboats, dinosaurs exactly 

high enough for the branches, pterodactyls

measured for their sky. Then observe the random 

irresponsibility of barriers, how our DNA climbs 

its own spiral staircase for good or ill, how 

the vast interior can turn inside out like a shirt, 

how glaciers come and go, the molten lava, 

molecular dust, how the hems of the Great Lakes 

unravel. 

Observe, then, what comes from the pit 

of hopelessness and rises on its own like a cork,

springs even an inch or two above the surface 

as if with joy, released from what appeared 

to be everything but wasn’t the half of it.