Anniversary

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 6/14/49

For a long time after this Event, we do not
Even know that we have been submerged,
Or that the quick-trigger timer of the explosive
Brain can instantly blast us into trance.
Spilled constantly into these trickeries
Of perception, which happen in the ringing
Silence following detonation, we mistake
Depression for elevation, and think ourselves
On the peak of a divide, where all the tears
Run down in different directions, not rising
To the sun, but racing pell-mell to be
Perpetually at sea, perpetually under the sea.
But something is happening in this ocean,
Or in the explosion, which created it.
The images of father, mother, lover, child,
Disintegrate, and certain radioactive charges
Arise, gamma photons, which can penetrate
The trance. It is then that we see,
Perhaps for an instant only, the body’s
Authentic shape in these benthic realms?
The sub aqueous chamber becomes clear,
And the slits at the top — our aspirations —
Begin to leak a little light from heaven.
We stand on tiptoe and peer out.
Is it night, or is there something wrong with our eyes?
Then the trajectory completes its arc,
And the translucent porosity of the skin
Is perceived again as a wall. Yet, even after returning
To sleep, we can still recall a waxing three-quarters-moon,
A small armada of westward swimming stars,
The long, pellucid streak of a cloud, all those
High oddities seemingly bigger than trance,
And we see a few rays shoot down, and penetrate
A little way into the dark masses of restless waves.
Here is the woman in labor, and this Event,
Fluidic, although lachrymal, makes us believe,
If only for a single second of wedded grief and ecstasy,
That we have actually been born.

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