Stein asked what is the difference. She did not ask what is the sameness. Did not ask what like is. Or proximity. Resemblance. Did not ask what child of what patriarch what height what depth didn’t use a question mark but still wondered at the difference what mutinies it carries over what vast Arctic what far shore.
What is the difference between blind and bond. Between desk and red. Between capsize and sail. Between commodity and question. A lively thing, a fractured thing. To smile at the difference.
(Such gray clouds passing over. Thick, wet sky.)
What is the difference between mutiny and dust. Between noose and edge. Between brittle and obey.
Between shunned and stun. What is the difference.
As now, Mary Shelley’s monster flees to the north, his sack of books his lone companions.
Copyright © 2016 by Laurie Sheck. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 26, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.