Biopoiesis: Earth Before Life

Before echo ever received echo, before the earliest silver-spoken orchid, before pollen,
tonsils, ionosphere. This has never been an art. Read from the archangels’ patience
the secret of ecstasy: the first day on earth is four-thousand million years of one word

that means, in anonymity, I will. The second day is absent but for ash-clouds without
an ounce of bone. There is no art for the unseen; its tongues are the paralyzed of dark.

Imagine, carapace, the thoughtless oceans called here, from their sleeping-place, sterile,
coffin-infinite, and empty-all. Nothing that suffers naming will question the meteorite
piercing, one midnight, the surface of the sea: in its fall is the mind that thought heaven.

*

Matthew Reed Corey lives in Chicago, and recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he won the AWP Intro Journals Project Prize and the Paul Carroll Award in Creative Writing. His poems have appeared in the Massachusetts Review, Crazyhorse, DIAGRAM, Artifice Magazine, and elsewhere.

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