Poetry: “Ode To Two Enormous Slugs” by Anne Menasché

“Pure wonder, / and jealousy of the twisted universe’s  / eye for both strategy and detail.” Anne Menasché brings existentialist dread and the world’s sheer, shocking and sometimes painful beauty into sharp and stunning relief in this quick but affecting poem. Using the metaphor of two slugs as an entry point to break into the cosmos and ask questions about humanity’s purpose, Menasché smoothly blends high and low, creating a poem which breathes new life into the small creatures that surround us and reminds readers to see beauty in all things, rather than dwelling on the obvious and oblivious. 

Ode To Two Enormous Slugs

At first, I wasn’t sure what I was looking
at. And then I realized it was love

at first sight, your heft clinging to the wet
brick below my window, like my poor dreams,

by a thin string of mucus. I imagine
that I know, now, how I must have felt

when I first looked deep into night’s teacup
and saw at the bottom the crumbs of stars

writing out my destiny. Pure wonder,
and jealousy of the twisted universe’s

eye for both strategy and detail. You
were strange and beautiful, almost blue

in thin twilight, and your slime was almost pearl.
I felt small and ugly just to look at you.


Anne Menasché

Anne Menasché grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley. She attended the University of Virginia and now lives in Washington, D.C. Her work has previously appeared in Town Creek Poetry.

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