Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Gene for Wings

{from the stacks}

The mind of the structure is ordered and frankly
holy under fluorescent bars that forbid
distraction, and the people inside walk
like they are stepping on very old maps.

No one notices the man striding through with a bag
over his shoulder and a snowflake
in his mustache, his eyes supposing
a mind can conceive of what it doesn’t contain.

He doesn’t mean to intrude with his messy
flesh, not knowing the mind of God-- except that certainly
it must be collected like this, in towering shelves,
with an angel in each aisle, storming ideas for illumination.

Bowing his head over a volume on chromosomes,
he speculates, since chimps have 48 and humans 46,
that one might narrow the degree of perfection to One
and observe a microscopic God humming in a Petri dish.

He jots “48 and 46” on a Post It, and fixes it
with the collection already feathering his bag,
now a yellow wing that rustles when he walks--
the occasional observation falling off, gone begging.

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