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This poem is taken from PN Review 239, Volume 44 Number 3, January - February 2018.

Two Poems Gail McConnell

Burrowing in your allotted patch you  
    move through the dark, muscles contracting one by one

in every part, lengthening and shortening
    the slick segmented tube of you, furrows in your wake.

Devising passages for water, air,
    you plot the gaps that keep the structure from collapse.

Dead things you know. Plants and creatures both.
    Your grooves shift matter, sifting as you go.

Eyeless, your appetite aerates.
    Eating the world, you open it.

You ingest to differentiate.
    Under the foot-stamped earth, you eat into a clot

of leaf mould, clay and mildew, and express what you can
    part with, as self-possessed as when you started.

Your secretions bind the soil,
    your shit enriches it. How things lie   

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