Devonian – The Sting Ray

by Kyle Burton

Begin the deep dig: I knew you
In the dark.
I knew you hard.
I knew you wingless and submerged,
Devonian,
In the great sea.

You knew me willful and callous till
We dulled our teeth on each other,
We kneaded each other soft.
You knew me
Always with my eyes up,
Looking past your face.

The sun through the surface
Looked warm and felt cold.
It was all I had known.
I marched you to
The horizon, the coast, and I
Made the trade for you.
A new world, bright and dry, for you.
You stayed behind.

Have I been eons looking in? You
Have wings now, a spine. You fly
Up to the surface, take the sun
But never pass through.

I’m dry but I’m numb.
And the shale comes down.
I’m sun hardened clay
That won’t mold. I’m bloody,
Blunting my feet back to fins.
And I’ve been eons looking in.