My bent knee makes a mastodon
and in a naturalist's salon, they will examine the bones with pointers.
Consider the knee-skull, consider the shin-trunk.
conceive its occipital and image the whole.
Push upward against its weight and know
that creation is for you to uncover.
But listen: the lecture also bears an older trill.
Looping since whenever it was
there was motion trajecting upward, gaseous, an invisible spooling of
sloshing buckets. Assistants scurried around
a flywheel hot with friction.
Hear it like this.
There are histories untellable. Some can be excavated.
Some seep downward and away,
beneath the marl and the watershed.
Break your shovel on them if you want—
They will not burn.
Pete Coco lives in Norton, Massachusetts and holds an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. His fiction and essays have appeared in venues like Unstuck, Barrelhouse and Other Voices, but Especes Perdue is his first published poem.
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