The Human Genre Project


I am round and warm in the tide
of my mother's womb, enjoying
the smooth compulsion of my forms;
I am Fish, perfect for this stream,
feeling the flow of liquid past
my trembling gills, but soon gone.
Skin thickens, blossoms further scales,
and I am Salamander, lounged
across the rock of her broad spine
sunning in her inky yellow
periodic dawn; and I am
Tortoise, carried beneath the waves
gurgling within her, and so
respiring on her moonlit beach
I know what bloody trails I've gouged
to get this far, and more to come.
But pause for now, to stay and watch
the dawning view — the moon, the stars,
the firmament's interior
we pass all ages under.

Niall Murphy