The Sentence

By Morri Creech

Concluding with a phrase from Osip Mandelstam

Death is a nagging grit, that grain I keep
Worrying furiously into the pearl of art—

How is that for an opening sentence? It is,
In fact, the closing sentence, the Omega

Toward which the Alpha
Stumbles whenever one says the alphabet.

In the ramifying narrative of syntax
The subject makes its pilgrimage (though bound

Up in the cursive and recursive loops,
The digressions constituting that long skein

Which tangles all the meanings) to the full
Stop that sentences everyone in time.

Word after word, linked like a string of pearls.
The theme of that lucid sentence? A belief

The sentence will not end since it is not
Being—indeed it must not be—

Spoken by me alone: each time we speak
In someone’s name his lips move in the grave.