Jane Mead
The Origin

of what happened is not in language—

of this much I am certain.

Six degrees south.  Six east—


and you have it: the bird

with the blue feathers, the brown bird—

same white breasts, same scaly


ankles. The waves between us—

house light and transform motion

into the harboring of sounds in language—


Where there is newsprint

the fact of desire is turned from again—

and again.  Just the sense


that what remains might well be held up—

later, as an ending.

Twice I have walked through this life—


once for nothing, once

for facts: fairy-shrimp in the vernal pool—

glassy-winged sharp-shooter


on the failing vines.  Count me—

among the animals, their small

committed calls.  Count me among—


the living. My greatest desire.

To exist in a physical world.

Found In Volume 32, No. 03
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  • Jane Mead
Jane Mead
About the Author

Jane Mead is the author of several books of poetry, including The Usable Field (Alice James, 2009).  A recipient of awards and fellowships from the Whiting, Lannan, and Guggenheim foundations, she is poet-in-residence at Wake Forest University and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at New England College.