As a new father, I grow tired of the endless questions about my son’s first word:
What will it be? What was mine? My wife’s?
We live our lives on a narrow corridor of meaning that winds
like a fragile footpath through unfathomable lava fields:
On one end, silence, and on the other, coherence.
Back and forth we go, babbling, bloviating, gossiping,
until, as suddenly as we emerged, we slip back under
the liquid fires, the subconscious of the still-forming world.
Words are pails we use to scoop the insensate flames,
to continue our sole, great project: perfecting the footpath,
protecting it from entropy, from one another, from ourselves.
Years ago, depression slammed my face against the edge
of red-hot darkness. At that border I saw
that there is no death, only life talking to itself, a dialogue
I joined with my birth-scream, which was my first,
perhaps most desperate attempt to make myself understood.
Imagine this scream, its raw intent, in our vocabulary:
What peace then to speak the word that explains everything!