“Middle-Ear Evolution” by Lois Bassen

07 October 2016 on Blog, Poetry   Tags: ,

"So reptiles eat with the bones we hear with."
--"Reptiles Eat With the Bones Humans Hear With, Fossil Proves" by John Noble Wilford, April 18, 2011

Chew Schubert’s E-flat Trio
for piano, violin, and cello,
using three bones in your ears
evolved from reptilian jaws.
Swallow the sound and savor
the flavor on your tongue, of Time.
Malleus, incus,
how rhythmic the words are as well.
See a snake unhinging its jaw,
the horror of swallowing prey whole.
To what greater harmony may
anatomy one day evolve?


L. Shapley Bassen's "Portrait of a Giant Squid" was the First Place winner in the 2015 Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest. She is the author of Summer of the Long Knives (Typhoon Media) and Lives of Crime & Other Stories (Texture Press). She was a finalist for the 2011 Flannery O’Connor Award, was a 1st reader for Electric Literature, won the 2009 APP Drama Prize and a Mary Roberts Rinehart Fellowship, and is poetry/fiction reviewer for Brooklyner, The Rumpus, and others. Visit her online at http://www.lsbassen.com/.

Artwork by Jesse Thomas, MFA. Courtesy of the University of New Hampshire Art & Art History Department.

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