Ethnography of fragments

~ after Steffen Dam, “The Owl of Minerva Takes Flight in the Dusk” (2015; Chrysler Museum)

We pounded dark
green leaves on stone
and their foamy hearts
bubbled up, confessing their
secret autonomies to the sun.
How we thought ourselves
philosophers, then! Daffodil
and rice husks, tin bottle caps,
every foundling thing we gathered
from the yard. We added whatever
waved or gave itself to our hands:
fern, filament, gelled orbs nested
cleverly in the tree’s pelvis.
So studiously collecting, oblivious
of the shadow that also collected us:
pilferer, porch-climber, midnighter.

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