The rock salt now grinding
under my tires came from
an ephemeral lakebed or dried up sea,
and as to where it was before that,
I do not know.
Does this fact
make me happy or sad?
I can’t say.
Degenerating is my ability
to say ‘I like this’ or ‘I don’t like this,’
to clutch something firmly
and know it to be true.
I envision my mental fibers
as this spliced, tangential creature.
I think of the stoicism of trees.
I feel that I am a red-bellied
woodpecker in a test of endurance.
And then I don’t.
Sometimes when I attempt
to relive what just passed
through my mind, it comes undone.
I imagine the sun’s rays swapping
at me like the most half-hearted of lovers,
cold, refracted light moving over me
between a glass screen,
between partings in the clouds.
The upheaval of pollen in the summer
makes feel part of a whole,
a greater radiance.
Lying in a field, somewhere, anywhere warm,
my spine loosens as magnolias open,
the creases of my body are smoothed over by dirt,
by the earth assuming my skin as its own.
But in the winter a screen materializes
between me and the earth,
and I am no longer
I live in defined horizons
marking land and water, the neatly
traced border of a map whose maker forgot
how the ocean endlessly consumes and
relinquishes the sand, how all
of our cells rupture in time.
Sometimes I wonder what it is like to be eaten,
ground down like salt under tires,
so my inside can finally commingle
with the outside.
About the AuthorGreta Moran studied English literature and creative writing at Reed College and documentary writing at the Salt Institute. She has published poetry within Lumina and Stirring: A Literary Collection, and co-edits Body Verses (www.bodyverses.com), a website devoted to stories of illness and the body.