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

Marie Howe is an American poet. Her most recent poetry collection is Magdalene (W.W. Norton, 2017). In August 2012 she was named the State Poet for New York.

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