Natalie Homer Geneology

I.

The fish is graceful in his element

but in my hand becomes slick muscle,

becomes the grip of breathlessness.


When scaling, avoid pressing too hard.

This is good advice in general.


The guts just go in the water?I ask.

My father replies, What else would you do with them?


II.

A dim, warm science classroom surfaces in memory—

and I wonder: do we classify death as a physical or chemical change?

The frog is a centerfold.

We spill her eggs.


III.

I’d like to be barren the way Craters of the Moon is,

with its lava tubes, its sagebrush like a flower behind the ear.


I’m having trouble finding the heart, I write.

What I mean is the crux.

They are not the same thing.


IV.

Cleaving is the secret meaning of life, if you want to know.


Remember: water is generous and will carry anything away.

We should all be so lucky.


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