On the Eighth Day

the garden left me
and a boat was made

in that boat the mind
left the body and

the spirit too became
a separate thing

and the winds
of philosophy


so when I pierced
my ear it was only
the fleshy lobe
that made way

nothing else
in the universe
was changed
(they said)

and gold rushed in
to fill the space

and the body
that had no truck
with the spirit
listened when
gold declared

I will make you first
among others


and the earth grew
small and less
and the rains came

and washed away
what was left
of the garden


I in my boat
pierced and

set apart from
the waters
that drown
and the waters
that give

this dazzling
math rules me
with ambivalence
and caprice


yet something
in me harbors
seeds of before
I feel their stirring

they cannot read
they cannot think
what do seeds know
how do they unfold


or is it the water?

the river inside me
leaning toward sea?


I believe I
remember the
feeling of give
when a root
forges a room

the strength of
the green fuse
drunk with rain






Mary Buchinger is the author of seven collections of poetry; her most recent books are Navigating the Reach (Salmon Poetry, 2023) and Virology (Lily Poetry Review Books, 2022); The Book of Shores is forthcoming. Her work has appeared in AGNI, Maine Review, Plume, Salamander, Seneca Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and serves on the board of the New England Poetry Club. For additional information, visit www.MaryBuchinger.com. (Photo courtesy of Deborah Leipziger)

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