Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Patricia Young's poem "Elephant Love"


    In memory of the moeritherium, ancestor for the mammal
    order probosscidea, which includes all elephants.   

Love. Ancient elephant love. Summertime swamp-love
when cool is cool and mud is mud. Semi-aquatic, straddling

the Eocene era. What sort of love? Love that feeds on
sea grasses, river-wading, freshwater, dreaming tusks. 

Water-lumbering love when Egypt was a leafy canopy
to fan the blood. Intelligent love. Thick-skinned. Pig-

sized love unearthed in a desert oasis. Love that bridged
the gap but didn’t last. The future had a mind for

something bigger, weightier, love with a prehensile
upper lip that would stretch over centuries into a much

longer love. What brought us here if not the half-submerged,
amphibian love that stomped when it walked and slept

where it stood. Brought us where? Here. To the graveyard
of modern elephant love where all love comes to die.

Summertime Swamp-Love
(Palimpsest Press 2014)
Patricia Young