Not only every human but every leopard
had a soul and every antelope.
The cobra had a soul, and its venom,
and every sloughed skin.
The parrot had a soul, and its eggs
and broken shells had souls,
and a soul for the speck of pinfeather
stuck in dried albumen, and for the nest.
Palm trees had souls,
and souls for roots and fallen coconuts,
and dead fronds knocked down
were alive with souls, on sand
that gleamed with a soul for every grain,
and a separate soul for each pebble, each shell.
A droplet of cold rain had a soul,
and each flame of fire and each ash,
and the monsoon wind
that blew centuries apart
into electrons and neutrinos humming
with innumerable splintering souls.