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A Display Of Mackeral Analysis



Author: poem of Mark Doty Type: poem Views: 15

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They lie in parallel rows,

on ice, head to tail,

each a foot of luminosity

barred with black bands,

which divide the scales'

radiant sections



like seams of lead

in a Tiffany window.

Iridescent, watery



prismatics: think abalone,

the wildly rainbowed

mirror of a soap-bubble sphere,



think sun on gasoline.

Splendor, and splendor,

and not a one in any way



distinguished from the other

--nothing about them

of individuality. Instead



they're all exact expressions

of the one soul,

each a perfect fulfillment



of heaven's template,

mackerel essence. As if,

after a lifetime arriving



at this enameling, the jeweler's

made uncountable examples

each as intricate



in its oily fabulation

as the one before;

a cosmos of champleve.



Suppose we could iridesce,

like these, and lose ourselves

entirely in the universe



of shimmer--would you want

to be yourself only,

unduplicatable, doomed



to be lost? They'd prefer,

plainly, to be flashing participants,

multitudinous. Even on ice



they seem to be bolting

forward, heedless of stasis.

They don't care they're dead



and nearly frozen,

just as, presumably,

they didn't care that they were living:



all, all for all,

the rainbowed school

and its acres of brilliant classrooms,



in which no verb is singular,

or every one is. How happy they seem,

even on ice, to be together, selfless,



which is the price of gleaming.





Submitted by southerndeb






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