Summer 1986 • Vol. VIII No. 3 Poetry |

Amber

Liquid memory, how gold the prisontrapping this fly undecayed in sunlight,anatomy perfect as any time traveler's.Once it feasted on rump of mastodon,then sought shade on a nearby ginkgo tree.Caught unaware by a gemlike sap,sweet sticky ooze became its tomb.Hair-perfect, if slightly mummified,it flies through our thoughts at dreams per second.What marvels those compound eyes beheld:a roman circus of carnivores, slow-motion giants.In its belly, lie the intact remainsof a last meal: cells of dinosaur,which may one day climb anew its DNAinto a world where giants are brick and steel,and women like me wear flies in amberaround their necks: tombs within tombs:ooze of ginkgo tree, blood of dinosaur,sunhaze on the veld, liquid memory.

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Poet, essayist, and naturalist, Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry, including The Zookeeper's Wife and A Natural History of the Senses.

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Soft Lens

By Diane Ackerman

Liquid memory, how gold the prisontrapping this fly undecayed in sunlight,anatomy perfect as any time traveler's.Once it feasted on rump of mastodon,then sought shade on a nearby ginkgo tree.Caught unaware […]

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