What does it mean to be so still? to glide along the ocean floor like some black-tongued electric eel, to burn through marbled gold and green of oceanic things like some compact mass deforming space, time, a void within voids, and then? It is easier to imagine amphibian, to know that blood, too, can change its temperament as quickly as salamanders change skin, as quickly as eyes of newt and tongues of dog become incantations, enchantments of art and life just as an animal submerged under water becomes unknown, just as respirations become primitive and breaths and motions cease as a lone fish in a dark pond arrives as an object of thought and becomes stone.
Copyright © 2017 by Rita Banerjee. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 30, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.