Monday, September 20, 2010


In the long curl of a tentacle:
a kind of laziness,
an understanding of currents.

At the edge, where the bell sweeps in
the way a person holds herself to herself in a crowd:
an understanding of space.

In the crush of a large bloom, and in its quiet:
an understanding of going-and-returning.


Jellyfish have no mythology
and leave few fossils.

They have no lungs or gills
and cannot lie.

They can sometimes perceive light
and sometimes make it.


Jellyfish are not really fish; they are
a language, at least

if I had made them; and if love
is every frustrating, terrible thing
I sometimes think it is

then its vocabulary would live in seawater
and understand currents,
and space, and going-and-returning;

and it wouldn't breathe, or lie,
or believe in anything but itself;

and if you wanted
when things began or ended, or at other times
all of that soft, close language would be there, luminous and solid
the quietest of paper lanterns.

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