Thinking of the New Earth
we will all be changed,
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
I Corinthians 15.52
For years now, Merrill, I have watched you refuse
to change this earth, to fix a stick or a bough, refuse
to blend, preferring instead to rope what is intact,
tie the place where rock begs to belong to steel,
give in to the aching niche in concrete with a bolt
which holds the crosswire, bound taut by your hands.
What you would not say to us today about Emily was that
you know how this world fears chaos: all our beliefs
embedded in forecasts, maps, the clearly marked detour.
You would not speak of the terror you see in our eyes-
of that which is askew, the faith we lack
that once off-track anywhere, a system could hold.
Or even hold more. What we would call a glitch
is not itself, with its own birth date, but a lame
downspiraling fray in an unhappy system.
I see it now, for myself, in your slides-the terrible
fixes, against all art or will and your own religion,
corrections which show us a normalized human soul.