Some Last Questions

What is the head
                         a. Ash
What are the eyes
                         a. The wells have fallen in and have
What are the feet
                         a. Thumbs left after the auction
No what are the feet
                         a. Under them the impossible road is moving
                              Down which the broken necked mice push
                              Balls of blood with their noses
What is the tongue
                         a. The black coat that fell off the wall
                              With sleeves trying to say something
What are the hands
                         a. Paid
No what are the hands
                         a. Climbing back down the museum wall
                              To their ancestors the extinct shrews that will
                              Have left a message
What is the silence
                        a. As though it had a right to more
Who are the compatriots
                        a. They make the stars of bone

W. S. Merwin, “Some Last Questions” from The Second Four Books of Poems (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1993). Copyright © 1993 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with the permission of The Wylie Agency, Inc.
Source: The Second Four Books of Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 1993)
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