Well, poetry is probability,
Chaos, and quantum all rolled into one,
As is breathing—the lungs just don’t know it,
Nor do they need to know, nor do the poems,
Although I have a sneaking suspicion
Some poems might already be on to this.
All the Same
We all have the exact same number
Of ancestors, whether we know them
By name, history, race, genes, or not,
And they were equally successful—
Perhaps not compared to each other
But in leading, equally, to us.
In fact, we have all the exact same
Ancestors, reaching back far enough.
Is this good enough? No, it is not,
Not for us. To care for ancestors
At all, to take their measure, recall
Their names, requires lust for distinction,
Fine discrimination, possession,
And competitive comparison.
Ancestors aren’t here—they’re kinds of ghosts,
And we want to be haunted by them.
This business of saying they’re the same—
That’s not a story. That won’t tell us
Anything. That’s mere declaration.
That erases their glory and shame.
Ancestors themselves would have agreed.
And there you have it—it’s the telling,
The endless, competitive stories
We crave. Ancestors just fit the sheets.