I’m reading Paul Zweig. This is the seventh poem in the third (“Eternity’s Woods”) section of his Selected and Last Poems, followed by my response. See here for details on this experiment in responsive reading.
A Fly on the Water
by Paul Zweig
It is eating me.
It is everything hungry in the world,
And wants me, and I’ll tell you, I don’t mind. . . .
[Remainder of poem removed 11-06-05]
* * * *
It isn’t death I dread, but the lidded coffin
& all that soil coming between me & the sky.
The earth is for living in, or under,
safe between the third and fourth ribs
of the great land whale.
Chewing the fat
with our boneless ancestors,
we could relearn the art of metamorphosis –
from the larval worm, how to wait
in the darkness for a stone
skin to split
& mixing dust & water,
bring clay to life with our own
It isn’t death we fear, but the pain that precedes it
& this waking, all alone, in a strange bed.