You Can Study it if You Want
by Gwendolyn MacEwan
One of these days after my thousandth poetry reading
I’m going to answer The Question right.
The question is Why Do You Write.
Every time I hear The Question I get this
purple blur in front of my eyes, and
I fear I will fall down frothing at the mouth
and spewing forth saliva and
You can study it if you want, I’m
just the one who gets to do it; or,
Don’t ask me I just work here.
You know the answer and still I have to say it:
Poetry has nothing to do with poetry,
Poetry is how the air goes green before thunder,
is the sound you make when you come, and
why you live and how you bleed, and
The sound you make or don’t make when you die.