This Wounded Geometry

A poem which attempts to evoke the utterly incomprehensible mystery of living in a world of horror and tragedy that simultaneously gives us tenderness and shared moments of unity and love.

What is this wounded geometry circumscribing the earth?

This scarred ecology?

This shattered geography?

This grieving anthropology?


This biology of barrenness, encircled by easy, shimmering life,

Hollowed out and pitted by these hallowed, pious monuments to ghosts never-born,

who still whisper in their perfect natality, crying to be protected

from the always oncoming storm.

These ghosts stay with us for a long time. Maybe always.


What is that crack in the surface where beauty escapes, gasping for air?

What is that breach in the wall where love stumbles out, bruising its knees?


Heavy heads and hands bearing the weight of crumbling mountains,

Lacerated by the cracks, fissures, and clefts that birth the visions

that put us on our feet before they bring us to our knees.


This love, this beauty, this gratitude are too heavy to bear.

They have been flung, screaming and weeping, from the depths of the earth.

They have been formed in violent protest, against our wills,

softening our hearts on this field of death,

stilling and quieting us before the end, inspiring us into resigned submissiveness.

The brimming heart, the welling eye, the trembling hand;

They owe their existence to a groaning world heaving beyond its borders,

Gasping itself into purple sunsets;

Spasming into green fields and shimmering rivers;

Hemorrhaging into warm blankets on cold nights and children playing in yards;

Shuddering, quivering into Brahms and Ellington and Rodin.


Out of the shrieking lamentations of a convulsing earth–

Cherry Blossoms, cool breezes, newborn babies, eternal love.

Our mourning has taken us into the cracks and fissures where we were made.

But coming home is little comfort;

Perspective only sharpens the knife, anticipates its origins.

We live inside the quakes and groans of a world asunder.

We know from whence those blossoms and breezes.


What is this marred and blighted chemistry?

This bruised and battered physics?

This disfigured astronomy?

This neurology of sorrow?

We live inside a wound so long and deep– 

There are stars.


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