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Richard Fein

  

Conduit

I do not own that atom
or this one here
in my finger.
They are all replaced
every seven years or so.
So how can I say
that atom is mine
or this one
here in my finger?
Only the body
is constant
but
even that decays.
Disordered matter from
air, water, earth
lockstep
for seven years,
forming me,
then disperse
and go their separate ways.
Like rain on a flooded roof flowing
in
linear
order
down
a rusty drainpipe
then splashing randomly on the street,
I am a conduit
from chaos to chaos.

 

Dogs, Ourselves, and Worms

A dog learns volumes from sniffing dung,
and a waft of urine could be a lover's sonnet
or a harsh warning.
The breezes crisscross with highways of scent,
and the ground is a woven fabric of smells.
Among beasts, odor subtly plucks olfactory cilia.
But we grope blind through a world of redolence.
The nose that leads our way is a poor trailblazer.
And our eyes deceive, our ears deaf to high-pitch songs.
We have a fear of too much touching.
There are senses beyond our senses.
We are sentinent but in a half-open box.
We crawl within it like an earthworm through its tunnel.

Consider the worm.
It feels vibrations but can't hear.
It senses light but can't see.
It smells but only decay.
It tastes but only the dung in decay.
It slides comfortably through slime of its own making.
But if it ever crawls over the top of its world,
it will feel heat for the first time,
and become breathless in a universe of light,
shriveling under a sun it can't imagine.

  

Richard Fein has been published in many e-zines and print journals, including Birmingham Poetry Review, Small Pond, Kansas Quarterly, Blue Unicorn, Soundings East, Mississippi Review, Sunstone , ELF: Eclectic Literary Forum, and Oregon East. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and says, “My current project is to write new poetry and revise my old ones.”
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