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"Singularity", by Marie Howe

Poems arrive in the most interesting ways. This one came to me

from a student, who couldn't sleep one night, and turned the radio on.

This is the poem that was there for her, then for me, then for you.

Poems seem to move like water in a river, always arriving

at the right destination.

Here is a link to , specifically to a page called "Singularity: Marie Howe’s Ode to Stephen Hawking, Our Cosmic Belonging, and the Meaning of Home, in a Stunning Animated Short Film". The animation is really beautiful, check it out!

Here is the poem:


by Marie Howe

(after Stephen Hawking)

Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity

we once were?

so compact nobody

needed a bed, or food or money —

nobody hiding in the school bathroom

or home alone

pulling open the drawer

where the pills are kept.

For every atom belonging to me as good

Belongs to you. Remember?

There was no Nature. No

them. No tests

to determine if the elephant

grieves her calf or if

the coral reef feels pain. Trashed

oceans don’t speak English or Farsi or French;

would that we could wake up to what we were

— when we were ocean and before that

to when sky was earth, and animal was energy, and rock was

liquid and stars were space and space was not

at all — nothing

before we came to believe humans were so important

before this awful loneliness.

Can molecules recall it?

what once was? before anything happened?

No I, no We, no one. No was

No verb no noun

only a tiny tiny dot brimming with

is is is is is

All everything home

ocean wave
Santa Cruz, California. February 2018

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