Many see a flutterby when they look into this
omniscience I see as a skinniness too densely drawn
or a mystery unhinged by its own symmetry, a twinning
I think of as a listener that thinks along
with me, fused in a tweed, a red herring-
bone weave in the dazzling darkness
and bleached afterness some see
as a necklace of brilliants curved in gift. As if!
A color visible only in ultra-
violet light or a source beyond mathematics I think
of as a second self, an underhum. Or thought. Till I saw
innocence tortured by a force
beyond kindness, an unconditional indifference
or wick for wickedness that wanted trauma dolls.
I tell this as a clock tells time but telling can’t diminish it
as clocks can’t dwindle time. Am I still alive?
Birds that sing behind a waterfall, horses kneeling
Christmas Eve are what others see in what I see
as us delivered up to this chill that searches me.
"'Roar Shack' begins with a depiction of God or omniscience as an ink blot, a Rorschach that's configured in various ways, depending on who's looking into it. I used to feel that some entity was witnessing everything that happened, and this assumption of accompaniment ran so deep I didn't realize it existed until it was destroyed. The poem moves from a sense of hope to a hollowness created by trauma and witness: the numbness that follows an encounter with brutality—a brutality that suggests the absence of God."