In the beginning
                              rain, an indigo
                              that dyed lakebeds,

                              cottonwood seeds.
                              Tigers turned

                              their mouths to the sky.
                              Then asteroid, comet—

                              a moon                        our moon,
                              broke into space,

                              Earth’s mantle opened,
                              exposed. Minerals leached

                              in indigo rain:
                              a sea, pulsing.

                              And tigers practiced

                              heavy muscles at ease,
                              learned to dive and drift,

                              to hold their breath,
                              spread their claws to fish.

                              And some stayed,
                              grew long fins

                              to ride the waves,
                              licked salt from their skin.

                              And from their mouths,

                              part muscle     part salt                      
                              part sea.

                              Earth cracked open, split.
                              How the oceans got their sting.

                              How humans rose
                              from splintering.

                              How salty sweat.
                              How indigo, our veins. 

Andrea Scarpino's
first collection of poems, Once, Then, will be published in March by Red Hen press.



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