"In Nature There's No Blemish but the Mind" by Margaret Ross

a maze, a knot, a shine, a nature of its own
devising, by nets cast to emancipate the blind
exile, opalescent gauze draped over stones to make them
eye and furnish any landscape
with reflective vision. Receptive
vision, perspective spread across the hills
like varnish: waxed shield to the pith’s
raw shag, an insulating blank
beneath the lucid gleam
encasing it. A hue, the bank
held recognizable by a single seam
inevitably finding
anchor in a cerebellar knot, the star-

nosed mole bores swiftly through the ground.
Its eyes, hemmed under skin, give over to
its star the rate of thought. Or faster,
at the rate of sight, the mole carves out the dark
by undulant asterisk. By many-fingered sun
that opens what it shines upon, by hand.
By fingered thing, as villi to the dirt’s intestine,
burgeoning dendrite reefs, aristate, a molten
crown, an urchin, radiant, beckoning. The mole’s
rays snare the earthworms in the soil
then packs them to its larder’s dome:
paralyzed, live, a hundred pale throats coiled,
looped horizon lines
associating with a background

scanned onto the screen and black.
The ground is black but that black is the sky.
Toxic colors blistering neon cataracts
in fluent waves that whorl and multiply
across the screen’s expanse hang free in space.
Shining pixels mark the smaller lights,
or farther ones, and streaks of sheer gray haze
mean denser regions. The backdrop is the sky
and that is black. The sky is black but that is
not. What flaring supernovae glide
on screen bloom vivid, fluctuating blots
within a field the bone ring circumscribes
exactly. Space beyond that borderline:
black clear.