Original Poetry

“Aristotle on Lesbos”

by Abbey von Gohren

I like to think of Aristotle on Lesbos
wading in the sharp rocked shallows,
the hem of his garment half-draped
over the crook of an arm, trailing wet
as he bends to watch a starfish.

He strains to glimpse the particulars
through a swell of watery glass,
the five-armed mechanism arrayed
and alive, magnified by leaping sea,
just as the sun flashes to blind him

He sighs and squints up at the light
which he has a hunch makes it possible
to see and also not to see, depending
really, on how he looks at it.
He adjusts his posture accordingly.

He sits at his pool and wonders
how many years of sand he’s missed,
crayfish claws swirling, detached
in sediment while he sat in Athens
speaking to men of the unseen.

Abbey von Gohren lives in Minneapolis with her family. She spends her days mostly running around barefoot after her small sons, foraging, writing, and occasionally jumping into classrooms to spend time learning alongside children of all ages.

header image: Estsiiri, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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