Midnight in the 8th Grade Earth Science Lab


here no monster’s stitched together
nothing bubbles, toils, or troubles—

just crumbled humus, dark soil
in glass dishes, on slabs of black

counter for text’s recipe, the next
chapter: no urgent occurrence,


mass & gravity, rock & water
slow as worlds in turning night
to day to night—the burning experiment,
fall & rise, flying & dying;
in other books, other rooms
other lives—let those who test

every thing in nature sit here
to handle answers, the truth of earth



Ed Taylor is the author of the novel Theo (2014), the poetry collection Idiogest, and the poetry chapbook The Rubaiyat of Hazmat. His fiction, poetry, essays, journalism, and reviews have appeared in a variety of publications in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia; and in anthologies in the U.S. and U.K.