We first invented running so we could be in two places
at one time but then understood how, with empty pockets,
we could also harvest the wind. We invented hospitality
to lure our successes home, and to get love a much-needed
drink. We invented chairs so we could rest after the chase.
We invented the chase after we invented running, and inadvertently,
robbery. We invented the suburbs after accidentally colliding
into the feud and its conniving stepsisters the argument
and the snit. Some of us needed more space.
We discovered death under the bridge
and someone insisted we take it home, that it needed
our help. That day alone we invented the handkerchief
and the whisper. When it sat up, when it looked at us
with the teeth of its appetite puddinged in its eyes, we discovered
the flapping of words trying to escape from our ears
and something hammering in the silver-shaft of our hearts.
We unearthed fear that day, our first act of real
archeology. Understand, at that point, maps charted roads
and the humble footpaths between rumours crooked
with love. The ocean took up the most room
with its tidal pull and tentacled beasts inventing
their own recipes. Some days we knew we were nothing
but ingredients; other days we felt like honoured guests.
But the day we brushed the dirt from fear's forehead
and got a look at its hands, well, our maps changed
and the ocean got bigger, our nights, a great deal beastier.
Copyright © Sue Goyette, 2013