Before the invention of dew, sea spume,
and estuarial braiding; before the enactment
of the laws of evaporation, before nations
of fish and krill and empires of foam;
before the first shoe; before clouds
took the shapes of clouds; before sand.
After the tongue of the sun and root lick
tunneling, after cambium and fat
just under the hide; after the rat taught
a bird to sing; after the afterward
and the development of lees, after the wind
lay bare the coats of the billion skins.
Before the fall of the proud rain poured;
after the ascension of the eagle.
Before dawn did what it was made to do
with dew, after the advent of the rainbow;
before skins bathed in the skins.
After the first kiss, all the others.
from Rattle #61, Fall 2018
Robert Wrigley: “By this point in my life—I’m almost 67, retired from four decades of teaching—it feels like writing poems is still pretty much what it has always been for me: both a way of being alive, and a way of staying that way.” ( web)