In the Sump Hole
In the sump hole creatures evolve with sighs and tremors of disgust. Hoof, paw, fin and neb, fur and scale— every feature microscopic but perfected by necessity. I want to encourage these creatures to grow large enough to examine with the unaided eye, but fate in the roar of the sump pump frequently intervenes. Tonight the spring Witches’ Sabbath occurs. Maybe the wrong sort of prayer addressed at midnight to forces that usually remain discreet would accelerate the process and meld competing theories of evolution and creation, generating monsters large enough to fondle or feed by hand. Under the microscope some of these creatures show human faces, but with expressions too gnarled and complex to easily read. If they grew to human scale they’d probably accuse me of playing god by having dug the sump hole to drain the underworld. Other microbes resemble sheep, camels, sharks, oxen, whales but too tiny to survive beyond the earthy soup of the sump hole. I dump the contents of the well slide back into the sump. Both creation and evolution will have to do without me, the ashen spring light too thin to nourish intelligence and the cries of nesting phoebes too dogmatic for response.
About the author:
William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has taught at several colleges and universities. His forthcoming book of poetry is Mist in Their Eyes (2021). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in various journals.