Certain words — blood, broken,
world, dream — pretend to offer
surplus truth when I use them lately.
It’s my curse of the moment.
(Moment is another currently
resonant breath that promises more
than it delivers.) I’ve seized on these
particular little bombs and deploy them
too often. It’s as if they are
stuck to my tongue and won’t let go.
Each day’s the same: I wake up,
shudder at the morning news,
bow my head to work and mourn
and out they come, stale prayer:
blood, broken, world, dream, moment.
They shuffle, rearrange themselves and me:
broken world, blood dream moment;
broken moment, blood world dream;
dream blood, world moment broken.
I am supposed to be better at this,
I tell myself. I am supposed to be
in control of words and that is now
in doubt. Even if the world moment
is a blood dream, I’m not supposed to be
broken when I face it. I’m called to be
better than this broken chant, to offer
better than a tired dream to this world
obsessed with blood at this moment.
I’m supposed to watch the news and
snatch a more profound vocabulary
with which to speak of it — yet here
we are and here I am staring into this,
a deep crack filled with echoes: blood,
blood, blood; broken, broken,
broken; world, world; moment,
moment; dream, dream, dream.