First Words

The first words of this poem are the and first,

and then—words, and that is all there is.

 

A palm reflecting sunlight toward the cheek.

 

The ability to laugh at weakness.

 

To dry a rose in a desk-top vase

day by day by

day.

 

A clock glimpsed in a dream

or an infant that stirs suddenly in its sleep.

 

There are no words for sunrise or moonlight or death.

For these, we have just sunrise, moonlight, death.

 

 

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