I hear your congregations at their rapture
Cries from birds, long ago perfect
And from the awkward gullets of beasts
That will not chill into syntax.
And I hear speech, the bossed Neanderthal brow-ridge
Gone into beetling talk
The Java Man’s bone grinders sublimed into chat.
Words buckle the voice in tighter, closer
Under the midriff
Till the cry rots, and speech
Is a fistula
Eking and deferring
Like a stupid or a crafty doctor
With his year after year
Of sanguinary nostrums
Of almosts and their tomorrows
Through a lifetime of fees.