Observe the eye of the humble squid,
so like to your own orbed camera—
shuttering iris, retina nerve-plated,
seining an ocean’s worth of photons
like a kaleidoscope of diatoms
swirling through its lens in a vibrant cloud.
And consider the Koala’s fingertips—
antipodal teddy bears wearing
fingerprints whorled in convolutions
so like our own as to defy discernment.
These and a thousand other conjunctions,
these accidents of convergence might seem
a sign of some mind’s search for refinement,
but to me it seems that Nature’s constrained
by a few good solutions, a handful of tricks
up her moth-eaten sleeve. But I’ll grant you
the favor of not claiming you’re mistaken:
it’s only the way we two have evolved–
both shaped by the decades’ slow mutations
of philosophy and thought–to diverge.
Kevin Casey is the author of And Waking… (Bottom Dog Press, 2016), and American Lotus, winner of the Kithara Prize (forthcoming, Glass Lyre Press). His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Rust+Moth, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Ted Kooser’s syndicated column ‘American Life in Poetry.’ For more, visit andwaking.com.