Sunday, June 21, 2015

the first of all thoughts

photograph by erin

A Woman Photographing Turtle Eggs

She loves the clutch of shells, broken,
emptied, left. She lifts them
one by one on her palm

to weigh their weightlessness
against her breath, their touch
against her skin. She thinks

of the eggs inside the warm mother,
how each slid free at the right time
and shielded a life as it nudged

into being and particular shape,
tiled carapace and plastron
and claws and hooked mouth

perfect in their solidity, fact
knitted from the egg's liquid.
The young curled in each private

chamber of the sun-wombed nest
breathed slowly through shell and dirt,
and perhaps, near hatching,

they sometimes heard footsteps,
faint news from the unguessed,
far air of light and menace and food,

though they were earth-held secrets
who had not yet suffered
the first of all thoughts: emerge.

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