Umwelt

Sophie Strand

def. the world as experienced by a particular organism. 


All I want is a red dress. I can circumscribe the island

in a day’s walk. My forays into      other worlds always involve me

looking back at myself,

turned crystalline under my own gaze.


All I want is to eat the early tomatoes, enjoy how velvet feels

under the pressure of one finger. After hitting my head,

I lift my arms for the doctor,

walk a straight line. This is the space I can think inside.


My blood keeps to itself, yet can be found inside

of every nearby pond, pool, tributary.  For an eighteenth

of a second, time refuses to change:

the exact measure of a human instant.


I have known as many worlds. The moon talks loudly in a language

I make sure to write down: white, hard, noun, verb.

Are these the sounds I make             when touched perfectly?


I could only know from another mind. And only if that mind

had eyes, ears,                  a world.


I have a handful of green stones. It is not enough. The instant

passes and the word green remains without its matter. 

Is this what happens to leaves when they curl up to die?

Today, I will not    attach my mood to the brute materials.


Only to animals with eyes do visual and tactile experiences separate.


I close mine.


Sophie Strand is a freelance writer living in the Catskills. She is the author of the forthcoming chapbook Love Song to a Blue God (Oread Press 2017). Her poems have been published in Persephone’s Daughters, Entropy, www.poetry.org, Metambesen, and The Doris.