Denise Levertov

The Pulse

Sealed inside the anemone
in the dark, I knock my head
on steel petals
curving in around me.

Somewhere the edict is given:
petals, relax.
Delicately they arch over backward.
All is opened to me—

the air they call water
saline, dawngreen over its sands,
resplendent with fishes.
All day it is morning,

all night the glitter
of all that shines out of itself
crisps the vast swathes of the current.
But my feet are weighted:

only my sea fernarms
my human hands
my fingers tipped with fire
sway out into the world.

Fair is the world.
I sing. The ache
up from heel to knees
of the weights

gives to the song its
ground bass.
And before the song
attains even a first refrain

the petals creak and
begin to rise.
They rise and recurl
to a bud’s form

and clamp shut.
I wait in the dark.