Half-Ourselves & Half-Not

If you sleep the night inside someone, her cells,
saltwater-stained, fuse with yours like the blood of twins.

Apes in Mauritania grow stronger, Galileo tells us,
influenced by the sphere of angels.

Here, then — thumbnail sketches
for zoning changes along the riparian bank

of the species boundary, for a chimera.
Like fiber optics, human nerves

lay along glassy bone & spinal veins of a fetal mouse
that will be drowned before ever waking.

A hen’ s brain replaces a quail’ s — nodding, cooing,
not understanding the change. Less human, less nature.

Less solace in these songs half-ourselves
& half-not. Did I wake you, my singing?

Here, the sphere of angels & here the sphere of sea.
Darwin, writing in his garden, remembers the sea

like some sleep he feared he’ d never wake from.
If all men were dead then monkeys make men,

he noted for himself, &, almost as an aside — Men makes angels.
If my nerves were fed to an osprey, a finch,

could she still take wing? Rain
behind the bedroom blinds, I will wake, won’ t I,

to your cells replacing mine, this cape lionness
liver, aorta of a garter snake, &, from a goat twisted

with an orb spider, milk boiled down to silk, gossamer
the structure of Bethlehem steel?