“Man,” I cried, “how ignorant art thou in thy
pride and wisdom!”

Mary Shelley

Perhaps Shelley’s doctor had the right of it: lightening animates
the dead, opening lungs to air, if such flow is signature of life. Inhale,

and oxygen’s own desire to pair suggests a weaving, this thin trail
of atoms recombinant not of self, but of sums of the organic, taken back

to billions – of years, lives, gasps – those imprecise moments when ancient
atmospheres sparked sudden, the sharp product drawn in your respiration.

Imagine Miller and Urey bent over sterile glass looped from tube to flask,
watching water make and remake itself, mixing earth’s early compositions

with the snap of electrodes. Half a century, this vialed pond condensed
and held to its genesis. Not from the void, then, but chaos of unconsciousness,

the inanimate begat. So, thunder-bringer, cloud-gatherer, sacred winged
lord who rides the storm. So, agitator of the waters: invoke. Fermi asked

what is lost or not of Caesar’s breath, dissipated but air still working
your body, traveling your blood, from its beginnings until the ages of the ages.

Midway Journal, Volume 8 Issue 3