My other voice just beneath the skin,
its echoes muffled by convention
and chained from reason’s reach
to speak only to me, quickly and quietly—
my unholy voice of blatant honesty
I can neither temper nor ignore,
telling more than I truly comprehend,
amazes me: a brief non-sequitur
with a keen edge, blade like a mirror.
I have grown deaf to crowds chanting
simple mantras as demigods tremble—
I’ll keep my counsel with my wonderment.
Out of wonder by wild design,
like greenheads rising, our ascension
from cattail ooze on a Sabbath
when I was a boy surprised
with my father—and all times since
shaking off the last glistening drops
to fly—no church or sermon necessary
to feel whole, to shed the nonessentials,
to become awestruck, he implied.
Even the shadow beneath the ridge
of a rattlesnake track teaches
by design, direction and urgency
left to fade within the long history
of earth. We cannot help building
fences in our minds to keep the wild
away and apart from our selfishness.
But only out of wonder may we remove
the barbed wire from our hearts.