This poem is inspired by D.A. Powell’s poem “Calling All Gods.”
What is language outside the body but dry echo, reflecting want.
For what is body outside voice but quiet unheld hands.
And voice, stripped of syllables, what is sound beyond language.
For the caesura before and after a clearing throat is language itself.
What is white noise of laughter but a baseline, steady heartbeat.
And heartbeat, what is more than nature’s metronome.
For what is instrument but body, what is orchestra but polyphony.
What is want without body but language without voice, empty curves of letters containing nothing but the sweet sound of silence.
This poem, which I began writing while attending the Kenyon Review Young Writers Residential Workshop, is a response to D.A. Powell’s poem “Calling All Gods.”
Jessica Bakar is a young writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has found a home in creative nonfiction and edits for Polyphony Lit. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Blue Marble Review, Apprentice Writer, Ice Lolly Review, Paper Crane Journal, Aster Lit, Pile Press, and Seaglass Lit, among others. When she isn't writing, Jessica enjoys practicing photography, participating in the "We the People" competitive civics program, and interning at the Asian Art Museum. Jessica hopes to one day move to Lahaina, Hawaiʻi.