Ligature

Binary thinking leaves out so much. For example,
Reading only left to right, or up and down,

Ignores all our wishes for comfort, for circular motion,
All the ways that the happier letterforms seek the option

Not to stand alone. Their living space is ample,
Hot in June, cold in March, with pencil lines of frost

Along the stems and twigs in all their dewy, new-built
Nests. Some warblers build more than one.

Each feels tiny compared to thunderstorms, construction
Cranes, plate tectonics and how the past

Harms the present with its slush-avalanches of guilt,
And yet it made us—us. How little we know. How much

Knowing isn’t the point. We love how the letters can touch.

Stephanie Burt

Bonjour Vietnam