2011 winter poetry limuluspolyphemus

by Kathryn A. Kopple

Three hundred million years is quite a record.
If anything can survive mass extinction
it might be the colloquial horse-
shoe crab, as if by any other name
the little beast would repulse the tourists,
the gardeners that spread what remains
of their barnacled shells once ground
into fertilizer, the patients in need
of the next miracle drug.

A living fossil is rare enough,
even if you believe your husband mal-
adaptive or your children an alien
species. Even if her mother called her
boyfriend a freak or his best friend
is a komodo dragon, tongue flicking,
lidded eyes and bad breath. Or
you woke with that primordial angst
you get after a fitful night's sleep.

Shaped like a shovel, armored
and encamped on the warm sands
of Dewey Beach, the blue blooded
Limulus is time's own riddle, ancient—
yet in so many ways a novelty.

About the Author

Kathryn A. Kopple is a specialist in Latin American literature. Her translations and essays appear in a variety of literary reviews and anthologies, including These Are Not Sweet Girls, Exact Change Yearbook, and The Xul Reader. She has published original works of poetry in Contemporary Haibun Online and Danse Macabre. A new poem entitled "Always with Whitman" is forthcoming in the 2011 Spring/Summer issue of The Hummingbird Review (www.thehummingbirdreview.com). She lives and writes in Philadelphia, PA.

Maintained or neglected, familiar or foreign, well-worn or wild, roadways inform our decisions and identities. Their geographies direct the movement
of our lives and sketch the cartography of our stories. In this spirit, 322 Review publishes provocative emerging and established artists whose fiction,
creative nonfiction, poetry, and mixed media artwork wander the paths of human experience. A nonprofit literary journal conceived
and operated by former Rowan University graduate students, 322 Review is based in Southern New Jersey.