Day, Daylong

Day, daylong, how the soul goes staring 
At its shoes, expanse that widens nakedly 
To world
                 where each is poised
Assassin, suicide, to wrest
Redemption of the other in its choice: yours 
The helpless span narration cannot close.

Route nor spectacle will not go blind
Nor bind their broken conscience to a page: 
Learn to be No-one in the voice of none, 
Friend in that friendless element forever 
Unbegun, a sea, a body, a remorse—

Take up this leaf: what do the dead, 
The unborn defend? Your living syllable 
Too mute, too loyal to its desuetude 
To enter speech that does not speak 
Consent, and claim, and failure to conclude.

Used with permission of Princeton University Press, from Corrupted into Song: The Complete Poems of Alvin Feinman, edited by Deborah Dorfman, 2016; permission conveyed through Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.