Intrauterine device (IUD).
9 a.m., Planned Parenthood.
I come alone to give my uterus some company.
my signature. A nurse reads it out. Now, knees
the ceiling square by square for something
like the doped-up silver tongue of a mule
anesthetic. To situate the IUD properly, my
when the places she's probing are darknesses
Republican, Democrat? (Have you ever heard of
She inserts a tool to visualize the cavern where
Before I can give thanks, or assess her headlamp,
Babies dislike incubating with trains.
copper is toxic to sperm: mixes them up,
incompetent, like the spunk of mules,
who knows how to share toughs it out.
best friend for nine months), then sliming
fate, or thinking we know anything at all
or maybe he'd open the door for his girlfriend
followed by a copper T: ignoring friction
Scientists discovered that roller dung beetles (which, along with several other species of dung beetle, belong to superfamily Scarabaeidae) orient to polarized light of the sun, moon, and also Milky Way to trace straight lines while walking backwards across otherwise featureless land. This dung-source escape route most efficiently minimizes risk of having their prize stolen.
the dung beetle:
roller, tunneler, dweller.
three little piggies went to market:
one rolled away.
one dug straight down.
one stayed there.
the roller rolls its heavy sphere along gravity's edge, guided by burning inverse black holes that float.
the illusion of lightness.
the illusion of emptiness.
the illusion of a hole as knowledge.
pinpricks in black as a map worth following.
circle of dung as geometry of promise.
polarized light moves in circles we can't see.
but they can. the roller dung beetle backtracks
to his future, shit in a hole with a seed in it, a wheelbarrow
on hands with rolling feet, his straight line intersecting circles
of the sun,
of the moon,
the wild line of the milky way.
pigs are not dirty animals.
nor dumb. some built a house
with mud and straw.
rolling in mud does not make you dirty.
or dumb. the universal misunderstanding
can be taken as advantage
for those willing to look backwards.
at nature camp, we study animal tracks,
scat. I squat over the lesson plan, learn
by looking. coprophagia
rabbits eat their waste.
"They didn't get all of it the first time,"
my mother explained.
"All of what?" she says nevermind, focus on
the feet they stamp in snow. she gives me
a silver cartouche, symbols on the back. I cannot decipher
name, just a royal greeting, the sterling curlings melted
somewhere into a new shape, precision of these syllables
too fine to leave their signature in the snow. it is easier
to spot the knowledge they'll come back for.
Here, doggy doggy doggy
Cerberus I just want to pet you
ravenous teeth, hollow eyes carved
into stone, painted red always
in a painting
circa 1440, Jesus sits
out the yolk
so it can float light
for the knowledge
of those who ate
the whole egg
we all know about the apple that danger is a rib that learned
and eden, how knowledge is to whisper into muscle
ripeness of a woman and to dislocate its hips
meat is muscle is red from heme
iron machine mitochondria motion
the opposite of dead
of necessity is not like
of intrigue like how
you are what you eat
like how the doctrine
prescribed walnuts for
the ancient egyptians
forged a tool, threaded
the brain through the nostrils
and didn't eat it
(didn't send it in jars
to Hellmouth, either
left it, garbage
for the dogs)
your little brother
ate dog poop once
when he was two
he got smarter so
it worked. I aimed
in a cup and drank, chewed
cured clotting factors
what could I learn
was a dog who could stand
oversaw the embalming
ensured their hearts were ready
prepared, stonewared, jackal headed
for weighing against
skeletal muscle heavy dense heap of shit
we cannot control head-high, engineered
chambers sealed in a story
stick in your hand
on themselves repeatedly with a glove or without
with just enough room root around wet for clues
to breathe, the color about filling in the blanks
a secret that keeps itself of dinosaurs
when it's cut open with frogs
They are there in the hundreds, large and small, of every sort, shape and size,
hastening to carve themselves a slice of the common cake.
-Jean-Henri Fabre (1823-1915), French entomologist, on dung beetles
for my 13th birthday, my father
gives me a scarab, carved pale
green ceramic. its back split
blind to the skies, glued down
wings, belly flat to make a seal
with ink, neo-paper, red clay.
this is where figures are
hidden. I read meaning
into pictures, the beetle
itself a sound stuck in
muck. feather, river,
basket, some obscured
white space devolves
to relief, our fingers
read the ground for dots
find a straight line while
our skin feels light, our
eyes weigh what we see
a name pressed in mud
recycled initials waiting
a baby eating its way
out from underground