Oct/Nov 2006 Poetry Special Feature

the secret meanings of greek letters: iota

by Michaela A. Gabriel

Photo by Jim Gourley

the secret meanings of greek letters: iota

the story of the fossil hunter in miniature letters:

hands turn every stone, heedless of rain, heat, hunger.
fingers decipher the braille of millenniaŚcoils, antennae,
spores strewn like stars across the dark slate of sky.

the colour of apple vinegar lures me to beaches for this:
a runaway drop of resin that caught an insect by surpriseŚ
perfect legs, immaculate wings useless in their amber cage.

fingertips climb a spiral staircase to the center of a life
suspended in mid-air, my lips blow grains of sand from
ammonite folds; the voices of aeons rasp across my palm.

like linen awaits the needle to embroider what is plain,
the past, curled up in tight curves, waits for my skillful
touch to draw another story from those little deaths.


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