Mar/Apr 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 2 Nature’s NatureMarch 1, 2021 |

Evensong

What music the dark makes. The evensong of frogs like monks in the dusk making the cedars their abbey, us not their god but believers who cannot read yet still see, in the stained light around them, the story of how we came to be. In the alligator’s grimace you can see who we be no longer —  the shark’s stomach tells us where she’s been & when — the bezoars, the endless sets of teeth like gravestones that tumble out & get replaced by more. Stare at the effaced graves —  this gaping grin of the earth, mounds once a wound in the ground now almost healed —  or, earth red as the gills of a fish, flaring, yanked from the deep after a long struggle —  begging to breathe.

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Kevin Young is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems, 1995–2015. His Book of Hours was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Prize; his book The Grey Album won the PEN Open Award, the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. This essay has been adapted from Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, longlisted for the National Book Award.

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