The Innocents

To forego the prodigy of verse
That each speaking thing
Might utter itself only,
Its hapless uncompounded sense.

That each air’s wand
In the element of its happening
Unawaitedly cover
And draw unmournably off:

That naming was the terrible power
Gathering the last
Against its time,
The Midas miracle.

Till the entrusted ones,
The obliterators,
Absolved their sentence also—
The salt of itself singing.

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.