The Death Of Toni Morrison
The man sitting next to me
is wearing a wide brimmed hat
his eyes silently pinch
beneath its distinctly invisible wear
His hat seems to me shaved by whispers
in the amber voice of a distant sun,
one that has threaded itself persistently
through a fabricked canopy of leaves.
The man and I are straining to follow
the mathematical darting of honeybees
dancing before us here
through wisps of rooftop wildflowers
He suggests that if that if a hive of bees
were to find themselves subjected
to the balletic poetry of Petipa’s La Bayadère
they would find it clumsy and disorganized:
clearly the bumbling randomness of a lesser intellect.
Between each apietic burst between blossoming stems
he feels compelled to continue by telling me
that the resolute grains of space are entirely predictable
precisely until they are not.
This, he manages to elaborate,
means that the world is indeterminate:
that it is subject to randomness—
but not to error.
His favorite author had just passed this morning.
“We die,” she once said; “and that may be the meaning of life.”
“But—” she continues, as you can still hear her laugh:
“we do language anyway.”
The man in the whisper-shaved hat
eventually tells me
that the meaning of life
is simply that life is here:
that it is only through indeterminacy
that a word can ever be part of a language.
A word that never changes, after all,
He suggests that in this way
life is the universe trying to say something to us.
And he asks me with a gentle urgency
what I think I might say back.