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I have to deepen my know

have a grasp on the rate of melting,
on the sponge-like Greenland firn

which had been keeping the oceans
from rising. My trifling know ledge,

unexcavated, undredged, forbidding me
from having down pat the warming

of oceans, the movement north
of commas and pikas, little egrets,

the strengthening of tropical storms
with names like Matthew and Gaston.

My ledge, lacking gravitas, brims
with gaseous laughter, with buoyant

conclusion and calamity. I will find me
a walk-behind trencher, a skid-steel loader,

and I will dig this sad excuse for a reef
into a mantle. With my significant foxhole,

till I surface the contents of the whale
that washed up on a Spanish coast,

With this trailing pipe, I track the moth,
the mole-like Pyrenean desman elevating

eight inches an hour. With my modish know
ledge, I will no longer possum but posit

Martha Silano

Beloit Poetry Journal

Spring 2017

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