Life Begins

Notice the way life begins,
an inscrutable tangle;
sponge-socketed skull,
the dimpled mangle of smooth-outlined blood.

At school we learnt how a certain fish
became what it was:
from a shape like a scone turned inside out.
It made a wall round itself.
What a beautiful hole
it had to fill with whips of bone,
with glutinous cords and spangles of flesh.
Black-eyed, spawning cells that caved in
like frogs that bulge with unease
in the depth of a well.

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