Not everything that dies becomes a moldering rot
like the sticky black ooze of the weeds of ancient seas.
Take that wooly mammoth, for instance, found in a block
of ice on the edge of the middle of some frozen nowhere,
flowers half-chewed in its mouth. What luck to be unlucky
in such a way – in a cold flash just after a little dinner-salad –
so that, all these centuries later, heads wag in disbelief
and grunt smirks at the shaggy once was of him.
And what of the death by chrysalis of the caterpillar –
a voracious, needy, earthy thing that dies from cramp
and forced revision only to be resurrected with two thin
surprises connected lightly to the same center of it all?
This poem first appeared in Pirene’s Fountain (Fall/Winter 2011).
Used here with the author’s permission.