The Ancient Modern
There Was No Beginning / Joshua Alan Sturgill
between terror and ecstasy
children of silent mountain woods
a world painted
on the canvas of consciousness
moss to velvet our paths, flowers
like hands unfolding from prayer
a young-mother world
fire and air not yet distinguished,
our virgin breath
could not be burdened
by the weight of words
I know and you know
we have agreed to set aside
these ancient lies.
How could such simplicity
have ever been? Everything an ocean,
with no discreet pleasures
to relieve its infinity?
I know and you know (separately
knowing) life atomized,
nothing to frighten or to delight.
Consciousness cowers in a citadel
of speech; outside, specialists
excavate a heap of bones.
We must invent our satisfactions