The first curl of knuckles into unfamiliar fist / begins to set

a pattern in the synapses: here is how to respond / tuck in

and be ready. This great love of the wide world / doesn’t translate

well into the everyday details. The people at large/ are not graceful

but determined to claim stake. And who / can blame them?

We in this world have arrived in the midst / of disintegration

and we none of us thought carefully / before deciding to contribute –

we woke / to find ourselves / on the boat / already sinking.

Quick comes the impulse to save / what might be saved

the small pieces grow significant / the large movements

too late in arriving / so we will take what we can / even of peace.

It is the mute truth of our defeat / at the hands

of our greatest epic storied histories / how science

killed us with its material / how we killed

the world with our need to know / and to take.

The fist cannot form fully / the joints are already

too swollen to bend / or to straighten:

crooked fingers / poised and waiting.