Muriel Nelson
The first Word


’s most likely one we’d say no to,
one that’s ‘good for us,’ tiny
but irksome as a flea
full of blood and itch,
a prick and a bump from I Am Who I Am Who. . .
and after such redundancy, an etc.
the whole run-on Bible and all
small talk bang begats and reverb to the uttermost babble
love and the hell of it — then end punctuation.




The last ha?


Omission?  That dotty stutter (may it still mutter on)
might be the Word cooling like the sun, a sadness
(Nusmido!) at the center of things shedding loves. . .
(loves not), loves. . .(not) while the next-to-last speaker,
who could make it matter, lies wide-mouthed and -eyed: breathless.
Before and before, new creatures with backward ears (primitives)
might have heard first words everywhere — every twitch, twitter, tremor,
tremolo, bellow a switch, an utmost On! pronounced without end stop:
  original awe
arousal with echoes (tweak ears!) lasting on (box back no!) and on and
  on and on: ah ——