mantra review

Summer 2018


A Mycology After Christopher Smart

Because we ourselves exist in that region between plant and animal liminal with
transcendent selves
Because we would love to be caressed outward from our fleshy center nervous
system permitting
Because each rainfall holds up a mirror from which our children spring, as in May,
gleeful with laughter
Because any dried leaf could be from Eve, who fell with the rain like it even
mattered to the colors’ contrast
Because you are so resistant to Fall
Because flushing, or sweating, or saying thanks, is one spore print, and being kind
is another, and none of these are marks of the mind
Because at the base of a stump made to hug the earth and beside it an unidentifiable
red worm crawls
Because I am always there with you although you never know where I’ll be
Because when a puffball suspends its microscopic wings a hush of vernal perfume
runs over you
Because a pitch soil a swamp soil an abandoned bark barely enough to keep afloat
does not deter you
Because our surfaces can never be cleansed that they must be taken as they are
Because it is the appearance of solidity that can draw you to your roots
Because when I draw you it is constantly childish and comical everything I am not
Because unlike a man who has been destroyed you can be returned to glory even
after a long bath in the sun
Because we peek from under the covers at what lies ahead while you sit openly
in the remains of the day
Because between the bottom of the well and the sky there is a meadow strewn
with you
Because you go unnoticed
Because for you there are no more hiding places in soft spots of the clouds
Because we must become creatures with time-anguished eyes

David Capps is a professor of philosophy at Quinnipiac University. His work has been featured in All the Sins, Peacock Journal, and Long River Review.

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