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Hydrosaurus (Rebecca Reynolds)

September 28, 2009

My father showed us his Kirlian photography kit, where you take a picture of something living, like a leaf or a worm, and an aura, a light, a coronal discharge, appears around the form of the leaf or the worm. Now halve the leaf or the worm and the light retains the shape of the former whole. It’s a mystery, a mystery to explore. The astral leaf, the worm ghost. Oh but think nevermore that a part can be removed from the whole, or that we do not expend ourselves at every moment, continuously replenishing the duration. For it’s there in something informal as the air through which you apprehend the stammer of a blur, a cartoon in the attic around the wooden block and doll flax. She writes about the unlived life or things unlived because unapprehended. Then you remember a house that was torn down as the clouds gather above our heads, which in turn sense the shadow of the clouds. Over the smokestacks and foghorns, the books lined with print. Over the snowmelt and suburbs with their spongy lawns. Over the cuttlefish. Over the unlit lamp and the unwoken bed. Over the rivers. Over the bowfin, the carp, the pickerel, the redfin. Over the towers that fell. Over the condos and the geese. Over the war dead, the landfill, the clear-cut, the spider hole. Over Ocean County, Sussex, Somerset, the Garden State, the state flower, the knobbed whelk, the dinosaur bones. Over the music and the bones. Over Ten ’n Ten Nails, the Pep Boys, the gun shop, the common gray squirrel, the bears and the deer, the road kill, the purple heart. God bless our beloved son on the cross by the light, Route 1. Over the memory grave, a wreath of plastic flowers from the Dollar Store ringing the cross and every season the flowers replenished, like lilies-in-waiting or violets asleep.

NB: Published in The Boston Review for January/February 2007. Rebecca Reynolds has published two books of poetry, Daughter of the Hangnail and The Bovine Two-Step. (Buy copies of them.) She has been the recipient of a New Jersey State Council on the Arts fellowship and the 1998 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America.

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