Homo Sapiens by Michael Waters

Imagine a morning moon the color of cream
Still steaming, a soul
Newly-minted each exhalation of light,
Omphalos quick with swirling aura.
Then the slow dissolve to absence.

Who can hold her?
Struck by the cold, the absolute
Clarity of this nth morning of creation,
Who might articulate this emotion
That somehow slipped past the masters, unnamed?

That creature whose skull was found
Fragmented in lake-muck
More than one million years past her last
Sigh—was she also struck by the icy
Spill of moonlight so close to her cave
She might have stretched her fingers
Toward its receding source?

Breasts milky in the afterglow,
She must have been beautiful, wild child,
Stunned for a moment into consciousness.

The moon arcs now from that dawn to this,
Passing over the bewildered
Brilliance of van Gogh who brushed the moon
On thick to halt her travels,
Over the unraveling intellect of Céline
Who pinned the moon to a page
To prevent her passage even one night more.

But the moon forever fails over blight-scarred bark
While some early riser bears witness, fixed in the moment,
This day entered into
The log of creation by the soon-to-be forgotten
Who tumble into passions
Impossible to tame.

The wilderness remains with us.
The moon rises and beckons, leaving
A residue still too ancient to name.

From: Waters, Michael, “Homo Sapiens” in Poetry, January 1988, pp. 344-345.
(https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?volume=151&issue=4&page=20)

Date: 1988

By: Michael Waters (1949- )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: