Praise the slow crack of bone
sprouting feathers, marrow
lightening in preparation for sky.
Praise the fish's desire to slip
from salt water to sand,
the invertebrate's flexion, spine.
When finned things grew foot,
when gill gave to lung—
they’d had enough of brine,
wanted only ground, dirt.
When foot begot feather, and feather begot fur,
and when those covered in fur grew
fingers, opposable thumbs,
they saw their reflections in lakes, ponds.
Below swam the scaled and tailed,
who they lifted, let swirl against palms—
silver mouths caressing their fingers,
hands remembering original mothers.
Let the righteous rejoice in the hand, once aquatic fin
which, like a bud blossomed
by cell's heat, mutation.
the face of homo erectus.
The frontal brow receded
from its caress.
expanded, thought ignites.
flame, holy light.
Teeth have forgotten foliage,
devour inland hooved flesh,
They are weary of crustaceans.
Their equilibriums shun
the ocean’s hymn and ebb.
Skies, not seas, keep their departed,
now gods must have talons or two legs.
Lo, the neck of the animal
grew speckled, reaching
for the highest leaf.
Hunger contorted muscle,
desire for chlorophyll's sweet
elongating bone, nerve sheath.
Gracious is the dome shell
over soft limbs of silent reptiles
with no need for song.
Grief and darkness delivered outward bone
as swaddle and refuge
from enemies' incisors, wrongs.
Let light illumine the atavism,
the whale's genetic code for growing legs,
the foul's one missing protein
for erupting teeth.
Let light illumine the human tail
upon embryo swirling at seven weeks.
Praise the mammal with wings, the reptile
that gives live birth to her young.
Praise the puzzle of fossil, shift of bone,
mandible stretch and recession,
three toes turned hooves,
our single-cell origin
before oxygen's collision.
Trust in the flesh's alteration, life-force's urn,
Originally published in diode, v8n9.