But wait, you are mostly still morons—shouting into the void
like jellyfish first firing their flickering orbs, developing
a sincere and combative sting, those
700 million year ago.
Let me give you the reason for build
For nervous system For brain
= something mattered/matters/will matter
Some of you live in the murky depths of receptive.
and others in the aquatic chemistry of action.
Between think and do, this arc,
this in between. Call it a maze,
call it a network of currents running hell bent,
call it the slow sardonic wit
you wait for when you’ve gotten
lost in your own ways of forgetting
I exist. You only hear the words when
they collect themselves in brilliant displays,
drawn to the desire to show themselves
to like selves, determined. Yes, you become
determined. You are certain you are
vibrant and worthy. You begin to
learn the language of react.
I am the constant reminder
that something has to matter,
that you will never quite walk
on water. Without me.
Jen Rouse’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Poet Lore, Up the Staircase, the CDC Poetry Project, Sliver of Stone, and elsewhere. Rouse’s chapbook, Acid and Tender, was published in 2016 by Headmistress Press. Find her at jen-rouse.com and on Twitter @jrouse.