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The Sponge

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None of us understands our story better
than this nonentity, unconscious slip
of nature, nonetheless our common parent
dilating at the bottom of the sea.

The parent, too, of octopus and pony,
of reefs and villages, once it was strange
simply for being not a rock itself—
not rock, but a blank sleep on a rock shelf.

And, deeply sympathetic to the rock,
to sea and sea-dust washing through its skin,
it knows, although it doesn’t know it knows,
that minds and their milieux are all one thing.

Some see its way of thinking; most, not yet.
Still, one day, just by living, all will find
reason enough within themselves to think
the single thought forever in its mind.

Source: Poetry (June 2006)

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

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The Sponge

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