On the Nature of Things

~ after Lucretius, De Rerum Natura

              Tonight there may be a heaviness 
in the rivers, that tombstone unrolled from  

              the mouth of the sky. Of course 
we want to know more than we can see. 

             We want to challenge the starless dark 
because we know one day we won't be here 

              to hang bright pendants back on the broken 
chandelier, open the stoppered valves that keep 

              good dreams from coursing into every 
parched body on this earth. Of course we want 

              these bones to be beautiful again, to rattle 
with seeds and their promise of burgeoning—

               Haven't we been taught each birth goes 
forth upon the shores of light? Of course we want 

               to swim through hospitable waters, see 
clear in a universe still capable of changing.  

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