October 6, 2008

Jessica Goodfellow

THE BEACH AT BIG SALT

Tools of antiquity—the compass, the straight edge—
could not square the circle, couldn’t tame
its numberless sides. Arcs, curves, chords
of circles remain, tracing hollows of shells,
clawed waves, parabolas of sand. See
how matter curves around the emptiness,
how it cups and gently holds
the space where things are absent.
Matter buckles and spirals around it,
proving what is missing is more potent
than what isn’t.

Matter aches to escape the discipline of being.
Creation longs to possess the freedom
from being a thing begotten. Even babies
in their mothers’ wombs lie curled,
crouched around the swell of the primordial.
Straight or curved, tools cannot measure
what it means to be, after all this time,
still nascent, beholden to what
you can never know.
Armless, legless, a seahorse
unrolls his tail, reels it in endlessly
bobbing and straining in the tides.

from Rattle #23, Summer 2005