Daniel Polikoff

Aristotle's Lantern

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Half Moon Bay

What a name for the mouth inside
      urchins—those spiny balls that turn
            tidepools purple.

            They dig the round smooth holes
       they dwell in,

away at the rock with tiny
       comb-like teeth
            set in a deep-seated jaw

            which, dissected, somehow reminded someone
      of the philosopher's
light source, Aristotle's

illumination. Logic
       works like that—
            scraping away

a comfortable cave
       within which to resist
            the drumbeat of dream

                   the relentless
                         surge of the sea.