All things must come
to an end, but I never
want them to end: I would rather keep on
an open book, continue whatever
gets me excited, replay
a lightning strike, or cast
a plumb line that may never touch
the bottom, crash
through every stubborn wall. It’s
true that I come to a point. I divide
each present from every past. But I also exist
to celebrate what’s next; I support
purposiveness, enterprise, and the intrepid spirit
of getting things done. That’s why I feel deeply akin
to vacuum cleaners, to the letter T,
to batteries, and to the short
and long versions of any handmade stroke
that could be the numeral 1, or an 1, or an I.
I am, also, an inkblot, a sudden stain
emerging below a quill pen, a sign
of danger, and a way to be overjoyed,
an antiquated firearm along
with smoke from its retort.
And I have been able to see
myself as a telescope;
a way to print
the otherwise
unprintable; a tail
for flight, or for seaside escape,
and even the kind
of anchor that stands for hope.
I am the lever big enough
to move the world, the world you move,
actions and actors,
the proof and the claim you prove,
the product of all mathematical factors.
You cannot use me
as a taxi, or for a quick lift, or just to get
yourself from one place to another; I mean to stay.
I can announce
the end of everything,
the feeling of dangling, of having
the world on a string,
or else a new day.

Stephanie Burt