Issue > Poetry
Janice Greenwood

Janice Greenwood

Janice Greenwood’s writing has appeared in Cider Press Review, Cimarron Review, DIAGRAM and New England Review. She was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She received her B.A. from the University of Florida and her M.F.A. from Columbia University, where she was a Benjamin T. Burns fellow in poetry. She is an adjunct instructor of creative writing at Mohawk College.

The Star-Nosed Mole

I.

Under a clot of marl, the mangrove gathers
the materials. The water root winds
its wick beneath shoreline loam and heather.
Shuttle and shoot grow between seaweed, the spines
of the nautilus, and down into the cochlea. Earth,
in stillness, measures the ecliptic, the ladle
moon pours mercury over my lathe
of ink, over my marked troposphere, these narrow sable
shores. I drag my fingers through the sand
until the sun crowns the horizon, rays
spreading nets across the land
and sea. I won't mistake the sun
for anything but sun. It arrives,
annealing me to this earth, water, sky.

II.

Mud shifts at the base of vines and I hear
a shuffle in the reeds. Tentacles pierce
the marl, octopus-like, followed by fur
matted to two crablike hands. Then the fierce
motion, nose of sea urchin, flesh-star, fire
held steady. The star-nosed mole crawls from the sea,
up from the coral, sniffing toward rosevine. The wire
of constellation runs from the sky to me.
Beneath the sea, the stingray trails a backward
arrow, and a mottled bird hops from stone
to stone. This is: stone, light, shore.
I walk the passage to land alone.
The book lies open. I hear hoarse
voices opening vermillion mouths.

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