Each time he thought he was

finished, he was only at the beginning.

all of the people stood in a big

crowd waiting for the names

of the things and the names

for themselves and the names

that would help them understand

their own thinking

one man stood along the black

terrace and shouted, mercy, oh,

mercy, again and again

then cities

and boats

and neon

and prayer

and hands

it was crowded with words

and the people had no idea

what any of the words meant

they became a blanket woven

by a blind man, an empty

courtyard, an abandoned theater

a gathering of leaves,

cows, athletes, empty

baskets, totems, crusades,

invisible and visible chaos,

all of the words and the names

flew up and away

the people stood on the bridges,

mountains, concrete oceans

weeping, laughing, lusting,

they scraped away the old soil

to see the bones of the old cities

a man climbed into a tunnel,

a man was buried, an infant

came as foretold, the water

covered the fields, the cities

disappeared, a star died, a new

revolution changed the end of time,

when he woke, he was standing

next to a white bench

on which were perched

a stack of books

with empty pages

he was alone

in a white field

he could not remember

any of what had come

before, he was neither

new nor old

there were no names

and he wondered how

to begin

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