AQUARIUS - Phyllis Gotlieb Poems


Poems » phyllis gotlieb » aquarius


The slow clock whorls of snails
mark time here; such calendars
patterned earlier dark ooze
into reluctant longitudes.

Fluted they give lipservice
over sand and slime,
dance, hornbranching
one-footed sine

while molly and platy
(bread-and-butter names)
nip-nap-nubble the grown scrolls
of snailshell, gossip the green.

Behind the screen
of glass I watch,
scrape algae, dole
dry crumbs of food into the gape
of tiger-striped predators,
a blaze of jaws untoothed

still showing in memory of the warmer
Amazon (a lunge and seethe
of living waters) the red raw gorge.

Beyond these elegant admirations
in the pale fishwarmth of antichlorined waters
frilly snails pace
poring glissandos sucklocked
to glass, timeless, the protozoan's
relentless ungrace.