A.F. Moritz

Ascent of Man So Far

I’m sick of singing the song of the wall
and the lookout on the wall and the waiting room
with the one who waits, let alone there, fingering
the strange instruments that correspond to nothing
human but bafflement—left by a god? a monster?
a doctor of alien music, medicine or torture?
The song of who will be coming
if anyone—the song that might be a foretaste,
a prophecy, a delusion. A certain prolepsis
based on a certain analepsis: you were here,
I seem to see, so when I say you will come,
it’s time you came, it could be true. I’m sick
of being the saint in the song who reads
the primary howl, the basic rhythm
as a mode of presence, and the polyphonic critic
who reads as a mood of absence. And these mated lyrics
arise simultaneously like a trick of doves
fountaining and twisting upward, two black lines
of uncoordinated ink and blood that make a scribble
smutching the pure surface to smoke damage, smoke night—
the surface that was, I think, simple song,
that may have been earth, sky and water,
and air that wasn’t wind for once, just gentle motion
as of blood contained, not spurted out,
a breath that stayed around your forehead,
desperate to join its motion to
the stirring rings of your hair.