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Consider the hummingbird How like the mind it is Flitting Bee balm to daylily 1200 heartbeats per minute 200 wingbeats per second In a universe 12 billion Years old In pursuit of love The hummingbird can dive 60 miles per hour In the courtship Dance 250 breaths per minute Forward backward Its red throat Is not pigment in the feathers But a refraction Of light like the shimmering Of intelligence We see Everywhere in the garden -- And the child (this would Be me) at naptime In kindergarten Lying on a mat on the floor In the darkened room 50 other kids Miss Verlaine standing high heels right next to my head Face up I silently slid my mat Toward her feet until My head Was exactly between her high heels And I looked up her Nyloned Legs looking up up up into Darkness between her legs Then slid my mat back And pretended To sleep But little Alice Stuyvesant Saw me and all afternoon She looked At me and I didn’t know Whether she would tell The teacher But I didn’t care because I had looked Into the darkness and Survived -- And looking up into the night sky Is like that The mystery is You can’t see much But you imagine Everything Even God If you want to call it that This intelligence, this Cunt This darkness we live inside and is Everywhere even Here In the garden where the hummingbird Moves from daylily To bee balm Its small feet tucked behind Its muscled chest with more than 250 breaths Per minute its wings beating 200 flaps Per second its heart The size Of a peanut squeezing out 1200 beats Per minute and how Much faster Is the mind with neurons sending electrons Across 30 trillion Synapses Every second and how much faster Than the mind is the mind of The universe Which as night comes we see The stars and the stuff Between The stars The living tissue Of reality That gives us this Hummingbird The whirring of its wings and the glint Of red at its throat A deep Mystery in the mere fact We experience The world As whole and beautiful with color and music and joy In the redness of red the taste Of mint the stars Popping Out like musical notes
Copyright 2020. From American Ash by Michael Simms (Ragged Sky, 2020).
Michael Simms is the founding editor of Vox Populi.