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A Water Clock

Pat Lowther
From:   Time Capsule. Polestar 1996, pp. 196.


It must have been that Adam crouched to drink
Before he sensed her there;
Stooped snuffling on the brink
Of slaking thirst,
Cupped his wet hands, and stopped, aware
Of woman in her heat,
Across the wind.
It must have been the first
Confusion, the first splitting off
That the amoeba dreamed toward —
That the warm woman in the wind,
And the cool water, rank and sweet,
Cupped ready for his rough
Mouth, pinned him in crucifixion, gripped
His instant arrow sense,
That had been mindless as the wind
Or the water that, ticking, dripped
Through his fingers' curved bowl.
Sense, and his warring wishes, poured
Into grooves that must be forced and split,
Atom from atom.
He who had been whole
As an amoeba or an apple's perfect sphere,
Began his first disintegration, bit
Into the round, unbroken fruit of here
And now, and tense
Began, declensions, seconds, alternatives,
Peeling away, endlessly, never stopping,
Like the tick of water dropping
From his fingers to the trodden-under slime.
Man born of crossed purpose, Adam
Broke his bond with all the rest that lives —
That veined integrity, whole skin of innocence —
And looked into the water, mirror, time.


Pat Lowther's works copyright © to the Pat Lowther Estate.


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