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Poetry  – 

A biography of Darwin written without benefit of patience

It’s hard for me even to finish
peeing sometimes, I want to get back to life
that isn’t a yellow stream, however pretty
the sound, the brief rapids. Harder
to imagine his patience in the decades
between the idea and the telling, voyage
and arrival. It would take a mountain

like this mountain to understand him,
that has waited eons to cast this shadow
at the end of the day. Not for me, certainly,
though I pick it up, walk it home,
keep it in my mind with the other eggs.
How did he not climb a mountain
and scream, “I’ve figured it out,” if only
to the clouds, who write nothing down.
Not this mountain but a mountain

like it, in his country
of tiny mountains, in his head, I think,
a world, on his chin, a beard
that took ages to get where he was going:
the dictionary is where he was going,
between darts, “an indoor game
in which darts are thrown at a target,”
and dash, “to break or smash
by striking violently.” His dart: a bird.

His dash: to wait. To wait: to burn. To burn:
to glow. To glow, I think of his silence
tending violets, his violets
tending his eyes, it makes me happy,
that dirt mattered so much, the bright scarves
he helped it wear, when he could have been busy
telling people his ideas,
that where there is a place for life to fit,
it will, and where there is not a place
for life to fit, it will not, unless it changes,
the place, the life, in which case, perhaps,

with luck, they will marry, the place, the life,
for a while.