Monday, August 23, 2010

Self-hagiography #1

Ipolyta, chained to infant sea-turtles upon the incident of their hatching, grows despondent on her deathbed

I wish I had not sewn myself
to the animals I wanted to save.
Because it killed them, my belief
in the faces of their tiny deaths
becomes an item of miracle, proof
posthumous at my beatification.
They are mine by fault and final

ordinance. I remember the pulse
of eggs in the late sun, the vital
push. Beaky mouths rent what had until
protected—only then to strive impossibly
toward surf. To have them take me
impossibly with them, to have them
quarter me, make me chum, impossibly

to have them--I caught them.
But first, myself. With fishhooks
I pierced the sides of an emaciated
form like a seam, then bound the hooks
to silver chain, then chain to other
hooks--these I sent swiftly into
the brave fumblers. They have no

shoulders for yoking, only divots of
regret where I punctured what was not yet...
what was too yielding. Thus tethered, they
began the dyings, diminishing tugs I felt
at my barely bloodied edges. My unspreading
was their first, last constellation: as their
fingerling-heads lolled onto sand, I lay

before them as before God now—goliath of fastening.

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