by Sarah Giragosian
with their spines and jowls
and their topographic backs
would move her, but first and forever were the turtles.
So protected, those nerve cords
in their bodies. Their bodies in their shells.
She loved their bird-beaks,
their pledge to the shadowiest places,
their powers of self-retraction.
They were the origins of her dreams,
as were the spittle bugs, the stars,
the misfits and the spiral flowers, the curl
of the fiddle head ferns, the satin bowerbirds’
mania for blue.
She too was an elusive blue
heron, gecko-eyed and back-glancing,
who wrote elegies to the elephants
and heard military jets so loud
she could feel the reverb in her soul.
The world was heating up,
and rats as powerful as gods
thrashed about; they gnawed up her belly.
What could she do?
She ate nasturtiums with the turtles
to fill her.