Poems > Seeking Even the Smallest of Signs

Seeking Even the Smallest of Signs

First they pulled from the burning a miracle, then a mistake.
The Lord will lift them the priest with the grief
in his eyes cried. Lord, what blue eyes bound there,
what hurling, diving, shining, burning —
reason surfaces and sinks, sinks and surfaces.

Dawn without sunrise. Gray. Purple.
Her Majesty in mourning. Her Majesty the warring. In the double
house of life all this was repeating itself,
Naneferkaptah had already himself lived Setne’s story.

When the rains began the teams with two-by-fours
found the going treacherous as those in the desert found
the food wretched. They prayed to the golden serpent on the staff
to save them. And the serpent stretched itself

tap, tap

and became a hymn, white-throated, rising to give
itself up for the good of the chosen ones.

Mother I remember the buttons on your dressing gown.
So blue and beady-eyed and true, when did I begin

To fear them. The world now
not so round with us. Velocity
threatening to meet, to marry
density at every corner


Who can see
the writing on our foreheads almost wet still

Who can see
tap, tap

algae bloom beneath the board

smoke from the sky

Tell me if that is a hand
if it is human what
will it

Published in Poetry, September 2014