Birth of Doubt
In so to say vernacular,
let us body forth
through iffiness into which
what we call the soul goes.
These ancient grave makers:
stone wind and water thin.
Elsewhere, products bristle
in supermarket dark, labels
while riddled throughout us
narrow passages, delicate vessels,
bear chemicals and messages.
Abandoned farm, wind loosens
wasp’s nest from hickory’s branches
as nobody curses
our steady progress
Who can compel
whom to explain?
Now we must tally
and catalog atoms.
Between A and The
Among the squandering for which we’ll one day also have to answer,
searching cathedrals and passages for a luminous answer.
Clouds’ shadows sprawl and fall
and fail to act as empty field’s answer.
The first telephone number you knew?
Dial it now and no one answers.
How to tell the children death
runs in the family I cannot answer.
For relatives’ deaths “heart attack,
car wreck, shellfish” ought to be their answers.
Call the mortuary John Doe
any name, he will not answer.
We may as well demand The Ineffable
once and for all provide an answer.
Under oath, transgressor Anstett
refuses to please render a simple yes-or-no answer.
Aaron Anstett’s most recent collection, Insofar as Heretofore, was published last year, and new poems appear or will in Eleven Eleven, Gargoyle, SAND, Southern Poetry Review, Upstairs at Duroc, and elsewhere.