Trilobite Love Song

My thousand eyes are upon you.
Even when I molt, when others would dream
in an agony of pain denial, I stay alert.
I watch for your every passing.
Everything I sense about you
     from infrared to ultraviolet
     is in perfect focus at every distance.
Not even a feeding cave or a narrow crevice
can hide you from me: I know
the subtle song of your feet and feelers.
The mottled markings on your thorax
make me go rugose:  I cannot help it.
The intricate spines of your cranidium,
stretching like the finest sea-flower,
drive me to impolite excesses.
     (Oh I have mapped them and would
     ten times trace them with my ten
     appendages if only you would permit it!)

Greater order, you
     have never noticed me,
     a bottom-feeder for all you know.
Yet I have followed you for years now.
I listened silently as you and all those others
formed into a linked circle, a thousand-feeler,
ten-thousand spine symphony of singing.
I think the earth stopped in its orbit
when  you played the click-click-click symphony
of the revered master click-rrr—click---rrr-click---ahk.
All I could so was weep inside my calcite lenses
and let my spines go limp.

How could you know my dream of you
     inspired me to swim higher
     beyond the blue-green fringe water
     into the blazing Greater Light,
where I lay gasping with salt-dry gills
     click-clicking your name
as the Greater Light plummeted
     and the blue-white Lesser Light
     stole in to replace it —
just so do I, the lesser, pursue you.

I am not worth
     one twitch of your pygidium tail
but I am convinced of a destiny
since ever I first looked upon you.
I guard your molting against all predators,
though you have never known it.
When I was younger, I traced
lewd messages on the sand floor,
wiping them out as fast as I wrote them –
oh, things that would embarrass you,
one typical juvenile verse went something like:
          I want to hold my click-click
          against your click-click-ack-click
          until we grrrr-te-te

So as you see, I am not much of a poet,
even less a courtier. My only hope
is that you have held yourself aloof,
that perhaps in your greater essence
is a greater shyness. Or, hope of hopes,
that you have seen me all along,
and only need my boldness. Oh, dare I?

Without your prior enrollment and slow
unrolling, without that stretch of feelers
and the ensuing embarement of thorax,
dare I approach and say the words
of surrender and engagement:

Thou, greater than me, and whom I love:
I lay my eggs at your feet.


  1. Your mind goes where no man dare. Love this one.


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