Frail Insect

Joseph Chapman


& who is it who sings I
                                       with the teeth & these wings
& whence cometh my body's ink
& how am I known
                               in the plainest sense
& who fathered me and is my verb
& for whom is this a lexicon of grass
                                                              hidden among the crushed vowels
& where is a home I can return to
& why is there no other now
                                                 except the reverb effect in the field
& where is the unknown lawn
& where is the prairie I cannot torch

& since when is the arcade on repeat
                                                              in the columnar distance
& who is so frail an insect ( and who is so full a fire )
& who alone is repose
& who has been the years and days and hours of my anxiety
& who left whom
& who was there in the black night
                                                             before the black night was there

& who is to blame for this pastoral distance