In the wombtime of our species
we slept in marshgrass or on
beds of shale, depending on the season.
Springtime: squelched and sank into lucid dreams
that our bodies preserved long into day.
Like frayed twine or fungus, they fanned out
and sexed with ordinary thoughts.
Nightly fossilized inside the mud’s memory foam
shadows of lizard sister-in-law, pig cousin
ape mother loomed palpable. Did you know
when hyenas laugh, they aren’t laughing,
that’s just the sound they make? Like
a party of young men shining on amphetamines.
Get out while you can. In winter we miss
the smell of brine We wake up with very straight
spines. Calves overlapping, invisible twine
between us. Opportunity for “misanthrope”
is a recent development. We used to call
that “hermit”, and in the more before
we used to call it dead. We remember
a kindness from the cold, the company
of bats. Spectacle of upside-down twirls
in cave kitchen. We used to know something
about echolocation. Stalactites and lustrous
metallic solids. The skeleton key to the swamp
is: not questioning the sublime, such as iodine rocks
evaporating, some might say rising like the soul
from the body, in summer months to violet gas.