what moves in me awaits
credulity, a torn sheet in which to wrap its weight.
Solicitous attendant, o pilgrim, from the charnel
house you must transpire,
a shudder, a complaint.
What stirs is not ancestry.
Nor the inception of any one blood.
But the insistence to wake,
to bear witness, comes
as a stranger, from no one’s mouth, no
Your tongue, speech-pocked, unnerved, a whip
My body forced to it, listening and
The imagined crack, its hiss, or what
it might have said:
let those believe who may.
(let those believe) that gathers
to itself a certainty, (let those believe
who may) the more
it leaves one behind.
And belief now an unrest, growing
singly in search of a pair,
the absence of some other, your voice calling
out to me —
skeptic, refuser, Thomas’ head
as it continues to shake.
I would not be here without you.
Numen is reprinted from Glean (Nightboat Books, 2007).