By Sylvia Gindick
Darwin wrote in his margins
that evolution is structured not so much
as a tree but a coral reef.
As a mollusk secretes its spiral shell,
I learn to tear a hole in time
and stay there. “Where did you go,”
two people ask me in the same day.
I want to tell them
that the unconditional does not exist.
Not even deep in the oceans
or far out in space. But I catch myself.
The unconditional may be a decision
made under the right conditions.
Like the first organism the sun beat
into being, the first one to decide
to stretch, to feed, to nurse its young.
There may have been something
unconditional about that.
I absorb through my surfaces, like the mollusk,
and like the mollusk, I’ve been in love.
We’ve been there for four billion years.
Sylvia Gindick is a writer based in New York where she is earning her MFA in Poetry at Columbia University.