Nature Poem (2)

All beginnings are shipwreck. All
disasters are natural. All
the realm is present, separate
though you feel, hacked off, hacked
at by yourself, dearest rival.
All the endings are beginnings
rich in lost parts washed
up on the beach with the tar,
the plastic bags, the singing softly
singing sand. Feral dreams,
snarling, biting at the zookeeper.
All blazes feed the soil,
all bodies compost. All
hatred justified, unlike
the love. All enemies are present,
clear, all knowledge of enemies
a mirror. All the songs repeat –
grotesque thought avoided as a favor to the father
All the favors trash. All puppies
catastrophe, like the wind which is
Greek, never more serious than offstage.
Howling its approach now, kind
lady with pretty journal. Now.
All the nevers are always,
nevers thriving inside like
Manhattans of eight million dashing
to the one secret appointment.
Elaborate plumbing networks
spare us from the smell of it, of them, of
us swirling in a mélange of knee-jerk
fear, the line whispered in a film,
you meant to jot it down but it was
dark, the pencil rolled away. Still
sense hit its marshy target,
a crystal formed, you
fathomed forth to
the accident connect, the future
you imagined before
the tinder lit.

Alexis Quinlan is a writer and English teacher in New York City. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Drunken Boat and, more recently, Rhino and Human Journal.