Every Word I Pick Here, by Lee van Laer

Photograph by Lee van Laer

Photograph by Lee van Laer

Every word I pick here
Is the wrong one, one
I’ve used too often,
Touched by thought
Until it’s worn and tired.

I need some unknown language
To roll down mountains,
Well up from deep water,
Its letters curled like seashells:
Sharp and spiny, worn and smooth.

It should shape the sound of angels
Whispering in chorus,
laying echoes brick by brick
Against the silence of these prayers
I cannot ever speak.

Then deep inside, I’ll praise
A better soul than me:
The one who knows the syllables
I cannot find. That poet only
Rules my heart.

—Lee van Laer, Senior Editor