The World Seems

by Gregory Orr


The world seems so palpable

and dense: people and things

and the landscapes

they inhabit or move through.


Words, on the other hand,

are so abstract–they’re

made of empty air

or black scratches on a page

that urge us to utter 

certain sounds.

                                   And us:

poised in the middle, aware

of the objects out there

waiting patiently to be named,

as if the right words

could save them.

                                And don’t

they deserve it?

So much hidden inside each one,

such a longing 

to become the beloved.


And inside us: the sounds

that could extend that blessing–

how they crowd our mouths,

how they press up against

our lips, which are such

a narrow exit for a joy so desperate.



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