Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Fossil And The Paleontologist

“Evolution,” the fossil said, “is the process
that gets me out of this rock and put on display.
Do you think you found me? I made you walk this way.
You walker, you walking thing with hands, I confess

paleontology is my game. Do you guess
science is a human game, fleshy brains at play?
The affinities here where you chip rocks away—
mind, Grail quest, love, sweat, seduction—they’re my success.”

The paleontologist didn’t recognize
his thoughts, as if plain words had a new, strange grammar.
He looked at the hammer in his hand, his hand, gloved.

He felt links break, felt terror, felt stone cold surprise.
The paleontologist put down his hammer
and walked away from whatever it was he’d loved.

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