Everything in the beginning is the same.
Clouds let us look at the sun.
Words let us watch a man about to be killed.
The eye-hollows of his skull see home.
When they stone him,
he knows what a stone is—each word, a stone:
The hole of his nose
as dark as the door I pass through.
I wander the halls numerously.
He’s no longer my grandfather in weight.
Among old bodies piled high, they aim.
Living can tranquilize you.
Copyright © 2018 by E. J. Koh. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 16, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.