The Singularity

Photograph courtesy NASA

 

WORDS BY MARIE HOWE
in collaboration with parley for the oceans

To celebrate Earth Month, Parley for the Oceans and Atmos team up for an ongoing eco-poetry series on the connection between the environment and the human experience. In “Singularity,” poet Marie Howe asks: Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity we once were?

WORDS BY MARIE HOWE
in collaboration with parley for the oceans

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   (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

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