When we invented distance, we decided we had fallen.
That the shock of landing had broken us like brittle rocks.
We did not ask if we had gone too far. Instead,
We invented dimension, hoping it would give meaning to distance.
Time was next, and we realized it was too late to turn back.
Points, you see, had become lines,
And lines turned into walls and damp ditches
And the frenzied leaves on trees in the wind.
There were surfaces behind surfaces,
Under surfaces, beside surfaces;
our fingers were drunk with nuances of texture.
And when we went walking, we found up-and-down in the earth,
And to-and-fro upon it. We called this direction
(Again claiming we had invented it), and equated it with purpose.
And purpose was the one fruit we ate,
Planting husks as seeds in every place we passed,
Until fragments of cities and beliefs clung to our feet.
We decided our fall had impaled us on each moment
As gloriously as beetles on a collector's pins.
Now we sing our descent: a psalm of how
We have invented everything except the hoarseness of crows,
And how we breathe in the night
As the wind sends its gusts through us.
MacKenzie, John "Now We Sing Our Descent" The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry. Starnino, Carmine, Ed. Montreal: Vehicule Press, 2005. 216.