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STURGEONS

and i get to swim with the sturgeons in-between
what rhapsodies cold fish inspire
nudging these numb dumb dangling limbs of sleep

they're so old they remember having legs
phantom limb pain is part of their holdings
a dominion they can elect to dispense

how hip are they anyway
do their nervous systems superconduct
down there in the cold and the solid state darkness

maybe they are able to do both
read and write to cellular memory
archiving their ontology
with proteins stringing years of meaning
informing the germ
taking their slow and delicate turns
with bits emitting photons as they bond

maybe they keep up with inner sight
and their living light
is not prone to blink like ours is
they do seem to read everything
and with no rosetta stone
suggesting their knowing has never been lost

maybe they don't get brain-wiped every ice age
dumbed down by all that cutting and running
then crowded off the edge like lemmings
only catching on to their free falling essence
as the end of the race hurdles up to meet them

once all our hardware
and all our monuments are subsumed
maybe dazed dropouts from armagedon
stumble and fumble the next sprint in the marathon
surviving earth's little whim for adornment in ice

floating beside me in my stugeon dreams
she seems most like a mother worrying her wedding band
in a sulk to make a few dreamers breed true again
turning the zone of lives still possible
around the equator
one day at a time
while the rest of each hemisphere
is two miles deep in frozen tears

before the last time
not much on record of our kind
just the inscrutable babble of lucky lemmings
who in the narrowing race
once squeezed through the neck of hourglass
were merely mostly stunned by the fall
by landing last on grim heaps of heartbreak
the top of that pyramid
even now routinely seen on bills
and when the eye winks
the thread of continuous glories drops a stitch

envy the sturgeons their seamless fabric
in their neural nets
dragging both dark and luminous times
millennial changes that have left us swamped
are only eddies in their gossamer wakes

on what inspiration
meeting up with them in the trackless deep
does stunned flotsam feeling bumps in the night
try to join in the blessing before the bite

- Robert Erman

copyright 1999

to Robert  ~  to Moongate