properties of x

 

what could be believed

at the beginning of the 21st century     history,

told with man-made stones     we hoped for prophecy

the signature of the illiterate

held true: the mark of death and birth

daily with vigor, we cut our tongues     the voiceless

given infinite joy by virtue of a hypothetical

 

to protect the unknown

from the unknown, Xs were strategically placed     we were assured cross-

hairs guaranteed success     “convenience is our number one concern”

always regrettable, mistakes were made     taken away from the world

you promised     to ward off evil, bones

cut and crossed, bundled and rubbed ochre (it’s hard to believe)

blood red

 

answers were given

in the language of cryptology      to honor the discovery of a comet,

orbit unknown      how she wept

when they told her     (the long stream of blood)     tether-bound,

unable to fly, she pruned herself featherless     on Vatican steps

tears formed wetlands     the whole damn situation

FUBAR     you know

 

how it is

we followed the rules of subtraction     the supreme,

singular guiding principle     cut through nonsense wounds, only to find

elimination, erasure     the inverse of matter

some were repaired with stitches and staples     lacerations,

impossibly prayed for     “ex-

sanguination is the leading cause of death”

 

how immortality pulled us

toward the unknown

 

***

Kate Ingold is a visual artist and poet working in a variety of media, from stitched and etched drawings on digital photographs to new and recycled textiles, sculptural and video installation, and image/text collage. Her chapbook, Dream of Water, was published by the Poetry Society of America in 2008.

 

 

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