BY JOHN DONLAN
Previously published in Canadian Literature. Copyright is held by the author.
Finger-combing deerfly carcasses
out of what’s left of my hair
I puzzle over my most minute machinery,
the “cascade of chemical reactions,”
proteins, electric snakes bunched,
their branched and folded chains
like overtwisted flex cord, flickering
with life, without thought, without intention.
The path from there to here
has too many connections, overwhelms,
as when a widower, hearing his wife’s name,
Dragonflies hover and dart like gunships
and I scratch my head, and the pond’s
lacy scrim of lilypads might map the molecule
of happiness, thirty thousand atoms long.
July 24 2009