NOLA Diaspora Logo Table of Contents for Art Space Table of Contents for Word Place About the Contributors About the People and Project Contact Us

But what if there is no right answer on this test?

                                    (Jenny Erpenbeck)


What if what matters can only be asked?

If questions, not answers, are ultimate?

What if whatever what matters has tasked

me with is a you must that I cannot

(cannot be certain of, cannot fulfill…)?

If there’s no standard to approximate?

Would the problem be no answers at all,

or plenty of answers, none of them right?

What if the wasps do return this summer

to the hollow under the stump in the yard?

What if what I’ve been hearing as thunder

is not the voice, but is the language, of God?

What if what I saw was a red-throated blur,

but its humming was not the humming I heard?


Harvey Hix

Harvey Hix
 has published eleven poetry collections, including the 2014 As Much As, If Not More (2014). His prose works include As Easy As Lying: Essays on Poetry (2002) and Lines of Inquiry (2011). He has co-translated the work of Estonian poets and edited several anthologies, including Wild & Whirling Words: A Poetic Conversation (2004), New Voices: Contemporary Poetry from the United States (2008) and Made Priceless: A Few Things Money Can’t Buy (2012).