“THE GREATEST OF ALL THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF 20TH-CENTURY SCIENCE has been the discovery of human ignorance.” Lewis Thomas, Lives of a Cell. “OUR IGNORANCE, OF COURSE, HAS ALWAYS BEEN WITH US, AND ALWAYS WILL BE. What is new is our awareness of it, our awakening to its fathomless dimensions, and it is this, more than anything else, that marks the coming of age of our species.” Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I Did Not Devise the Way

I did not devise the Way
of trading bodies.
I did not invent orgasm.
I did not formulate sunrise.
The puffer fish was not my idea.
I never could have imagined maggots
or dreamed up cancer.
Who ordered the butterfly?
Stars and giraffes also are given.
The Higgs Boson—I don’t even know what it is.
My hands: equally mysterious.
Death is as sudden and surprising as birth.
I don’t blame any god.
I am the whole secret saying this,
using language I inherited.
I can smell you on me.
Astonishing, the nose!
I am not a knower.
I am a lover.

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