To the Word

Thank you for the way you shape
my lips and train my tongue to flatten,
bend and reach for teeth.  How did sound
come to mean, to be, you? What strange technology
of intelligent flesh led hands to break
you down to curls and lines, now wires and waves
for which we pay? All to say: look here, listen.
Some say you were here before us all,

in the beginning, that you were God.
Perhaps it’s true and our bodies are nothing
but the curled script of you. Write, revise
yourself into being. Vibrate, move matter
in your scratching invisible ink, nothing
more than song. And song: you without spaces.
You: fluid undefined, but meaning, more or less.

I ask you, friend, what does the word of my living mean?
The ways my quarks scream and dance, our hand
cannot keep up, hand of song and sound, listening,
every pore an ear, an eye in every hand, trying to see,
to hear light or make it, stealing space between the quantum
waves of me, though me is not the word I seek.

Is there a space sound does not fill, where you do not spin?
If there is, we could not live in this inhospitable place.
Let us not think of it, or speak its name, so it will go away.
Though I is a lie, and I am yours to write or erase, I pray:
Great Utterable Word, here is my hand. Tell me what to say.

2008

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