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What I Disliked about the Pleistocene Era

The pastries were awfully dry.
An absence of hummingbirds—
of any humming, and birds' lead
feathers made it difficult to fly.

Clouds had not yet learned
to clot, billow, represent. 
Stars unshot, anonymous.
Moon and sun indifferent.

No one owned a house, a pond,
a rock on which to rest your head.
No arc, no here then there. Beginning 
meant alive. The end was dead. 

Art still a ways away—no lyre.
Beauty, an accident. Needs
and wants bundled like twigs
then set on fire. Except, no fire.

Candles had no wicks. Fruit 
lacked seed. Books bereft of plot.
Ornament and condiment 
were empty cisterns. There were pots.

It was pure act. No motivation,
consequence, imagination.
Sometimes, a flare, a glow, a gleam. 
No questions asked. No revelation.

And I was not yet capital I.
Still just an eye. No mouth,
no verb, no AM to carry dark 
from day, dirt or sea from sky—

God not God until one dove
called out "where the hell's dry land?"
An answer formed. A raven shrugged
and toed a line across the sand.

New, the sand. New, the vast
notion of this long division.
New, the understanding that
this time, there would be no revision.

From Hilarity by Patty Seyburn. Copyright © 2009 by Patty Seyburn. Used by permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose, Western Michigan University. All rights reserved.

From Hilarity by Patty Seyburn. Copyright © 2009 by Patty Seyburn. Used by permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose, Western Michigan University. All rights reserved.

Patty Seyburn