May/June 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 3 Nature's NatureMay 1, 2016 |

Prehistoric

Of the time before I could speak, I cannot speak.   I was prehistoric, doing the dinosaur lurch Across my crib. The world was there, worlding away,   and I was in it, being worlded. Now I mourn Everything between my birth and the first word I spoke,   that skeletal man hacking arrowheads out of the black holes Of obsidian cliffs, that woman grappling trout and water snakes   over and over from the same impossible river. Elephants Evolved heavily, ants built stadiums where people were gathered   and shot. When the first utterance crossed my teeth's barrier, The world lit up like a pinball machine, cause and effect caroming   off meaning—I know because I remember—my parents Put on clothes, animals marched through barbed-wire gates   into fields of taxonomy, and I became the librarian of my own Mechanical logos: human, shelved and numbered in the stacks   of interiority, barricaded, sealed with intricate locks, recorded And copied in triplicate by ho

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T. R. Hummer’s tenth book of poems, Ephemeron, was published by LSU Press in November 2011; his second book of essays, Available Surfaces, will appear in University of Michigan Press’s Poets on Poetry Series in 2012. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and teaches at Arizona State University.

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Dove

By T. R. Hummer

Of the time before I could speak, I cannot speak.   I was prehistoric, doing the dinosaur lurch Across my crib. The world was there, worlding away,   and I was in […]

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