Oceanography

An underwater mountain range
runs through the Atlantic like a scar
on my yard-sale topographical map.
I read in an article that the sea floor is spreading
where these two tectonic plates crack apart.
Crags of molten rock surge upward
in the impermeable darkness,
the continents on either side grinding further away
from one another every century.

On my kitchen table, the distance looks trivial:
the ridge is raised in molded plastic
that’s been collecting dust in someone else’s attic.
But I imagine that these mountains—
miles from the surface,
cradling this fractured seam of earth—
understand the dignity of loneliness.

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