At the Bottom of the World
At the bottom of the world, two miles
below sea level, tubeworms boggle scientists,
clustered near hydrothermal vents, thriving on
deadly hydrogen sulfide. Here, too, the vampire fish,
echinoderms, giant isopods that won’t ever
feel the sun’s heat on their pill-buggy backs, the light
gulls need at least a glimpse of so they can
hassle a minnow from a pelican’s pouch.
It’s a great place to contemplate
Jesus and his myriad miracles—walking on water,
kersplatting the need for crutches, sidling up with
long-nosed chimeras, one swish of a dorsal fin fatal.
Michelangelo would feel at home here, for
no one who’s seen a coffin fish doubts God
opened his palm, pointed a finger, ap-
pointed Adam Creature of Shame, Creature of
Questions More Luminous than Any Star.
Remember when we looked to the heavens,
saw only the campfires of not-so-distant neighbors?
Today it’s HD 179949 and Gilese 581D—
unimaginably distant constellations and dwarfs, orbs
vying for habitability. Down here, it’s hardly less showy
where lanthanum & neodymium bubble from mud holes, where.
xenon nestles in deep-sea basalt. Bless it all, & bless us too,
young and old, bizarre and undeserving, all
zapped with the mystery of the sacred.
by Martha Silano
from the Echotheo Review