Jorie Graham
Little Exercise

The screen is full of voices, all of them holding their tongues.

Certain things have to be “undergone,” yes.

To come to a greater state of consciousness, yes.


Let the face show itself through the screen.

Let the organizing eyes show themselves.

Let them float to the surface of this shine and glow there.


The world now being killed by its children.  Also its guests.


An oracle?—a sniper, a child beater, a dying parent in the house,

a soil so overfed, it cannot hold a root system in place?

Look—the slightest wind undoes the young crop.


Are we “beyond salvation”? Will you not speak?

Such a large absence—shall it not compel the largest presence?

Can we not break the wall?

And can it please not be a mirror lord?

Found In Volume 33, No. 05
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  • Jorie Graham
Jorie Graham
About the Author

Jorie Graham is the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University.  She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, inluding Sea Change (Ecco, 2008) and The Dream of the Unified Field, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.