A.F. Moritz


Each page in this book is first. Each rebegins
everything the others had decided
once and for all—“Behold, I make all things new”—
and happy, forgets the others
ever were. It sets out at naked dawn
in culpable but perfect innocence,
joys in the terror of stumbling on alone,
grows sick of the perpetual recurrence,
eternal being returned to childhood,
the endless concourse of fresh days: nothing
but uninhabited wealth and being free
and needing to make it a world. Each longs to be
one worker among many, a happy piece
in a progress—longs for a mature
continuity, a classic harmony of measured
stages completed and preserved, dross purged
and the pure sums added, the clear results
amounting to a city held in a single glance.
In that splendid extent each page trudges lost
and when it stumbles, startled it comes on words
of another there before it—“Breathing in,
breathing out, o Elysium”—and sees
its hope is wrong, its glory dark, and so
crosses itself out and starts again.