Sunday, June 2, 2019

There’s a Being Here

Because language preexists
Each one of us, small wonder
That we feel inspired,

Imagining oracles,
And genius, and the spirits
That download our best ideas 

Out of the mouths of angels,
Of gods, of the clear blue sky.
I sit, my fingers twitching,

Anxious to get home and type,
Tapping invisible words
On my knee, literally

Language trying to escape
Me, this body, this backwoods
Oracle in a village

Of villagers applauding
A soft-spoken friend
With dementia, a poet

Whose memories they return,
Or try to return, to him,
Reading his poems back to him,

To where he sits embodied,
Trying to remember them. 
In the end they turn to him

To give him a chance to speak.
He speaks of bells of heaven,
Of meaning, self, and friendship.

“That’s what it is. It’s an it.”
He tears up a bit,
As do his friends around him,

And he thanks them for being.
He says, “There’s a being here.”
My fingers agree with him,

But I’ve got too many words
To get rid of yet, to see
Through them, to express clearly 

Enough. They need to leave me.
Soon enough I’ll lose enough
To speak as well as he does.

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