Perfection: An Ars Poetica

First published in Solitary Plover #29, Winter 2019, page 6. Originally written in June of 2017 in a workshop led by Judith Skillman at BookTree in Kirkland, Washington. +



The archer fish knows refraction.

As it spits from its tropical mire

to shoot down crickets for dinner,

it adjusts for the kink in light—

the light that shifts direction

from water to air,

from the imposition of its world

to the world above, of heaven.

Is this a marvel of creation,

a piece of the grand design,

or an accident of evolution?

Or is this miracle simply gained

from the need to feed—

trial and error that perfects the poem?