the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




Larissa Shmailo

The Great Fish

(Ekphrastic on an image from Carl Jung's Liber Novus {Red Book}; the caption reads, "Every road has its end.")

Archaic, beneath the archways
of the accepted lobes of mind,
within the R-core brain,
is an alchemy, like the ichthyosaur
that swims beneath Jung's ship;
the bark itself a creature of the sea,
above the deep, until a crisis casts it down
to look into the eyes of the snake,
Leviathan, the whale; and
to discover that this meeting,
which has come to all since Eve,
is as fated as the storm, and is
the sign of the the sign of Jonah,
which comes when all paths end.



As brave as a deciduous tree in winter,
with only its trembling to give, I live.
Leaves, ordinary, thin, brown, die;
dying, enrich the earth; I?

For the cruciform tree, a resurrection,
seasons, promise, a rebirth. There are no coincidences,
there is a plan, the hope of seedlings, again, again, again.

Not for me. For me, the responsibilities
of chaos. For me, the uncertainties of matter,
the randomness, the ecodisasters,
the blasted, dying trees, the impartialities
of space,
of place.

(They now find patterns
in nonlinear matter,
clinging to fractals,
still hoping to escape
random, null space
and soon

Even Heisenberg was certain
that matter would not die, but become,
if need be, E: the Einsteinian assurance.
But dying is no big deal: Only cockroaches live forever.
And matter, as we know it, must disappear.

The ultimate change,
called end, is embossed upon your genes.
And determined to live at all cost,
what freedom, what real,
if evanescent, truth
is lost?



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