Small Bang Theory

Anne Shaw

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for Glen

He says, You don’t need a religion. Woman,
you are a religion, and describes how the hints of things impinge
pushing their shapes before them as they rise
slowly, as if through plaster, the wobble of an orbit
pressing itself toward sight. This, he says, is science: how data ghosts
        the edge
when the unseen starts to flicker in, trace at the cusp of the mind’s

myopic eye. For a year I went blind as a freight train, thrashed
in a wild grief, because nothing as loud
as my sorrow could be heard. Now, in the formless dark
I can’t untangle my tongue
even to know what kind of help to ask.
But he tells me I’m all flintstrike
deep in the basement’s gut: again, again, again, again

and yes, I am all stammer and all ignition switch
waiting for gas jet, horsehair, lath, for anything to rascal back
the blossom of my blue, incessant flame. Therefore let me pray
the smallest possible prayer. Pinprick
in the darkness. Please. That the ear that is turned
to silence may flick itself awake. And if
it can make no reply, may hear.

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