Paul Bilger, Five (photograph)

One world conceals another.
Nails in the cake.
Or the blond
cellulose flesh below
the rainbow
eucalyptus’ peeling bark.
When recorded
then slowed,
the crickets’ chirring
resembled an angelic choir
spiriting from the tobacco.
It’s all in our minds
according to quantum
physics: the eye
incapable of differentiating
the image of a thing
from the thing
itself.  Or what a hairy-mouthed
astral-projection night-
mare the butterfly becomes,
pinned beneath
the microscope,
dreaming the same dream
as lichen.
The insect din
(it was later admitted)
had been synthesized
with strings & under-
sound, that it might echo
the holy—but what doesn’t intense  
investigation pervert?
I wandered the woods
for eternity.
Not I in the flesh.
But a molecule
or two, minced in the air
of that place.  Some
essence stretched thin.
Then thinner, a sigh or
ghost in a sunshower.


Flower Conroy