Emily Paige Wilson

The Tower


Babel has always bothered me: a god

who could only see words as vessels

for power; a god who feared being

touched, whose height could be rivaled

by the spindle of a tower spire. I

don’t believe in god, but, then again,

life has not yet driven me to that need.

Come, let Us go down and confuse

their language. I wonder what is

so wrong with one mother tongue,

people speaking without the sandpaper

of translation, all our ears receptive

to every mouth. I don’t believe

in god, but, then again, maybe

god had grown tired of the same

string of sounds, grown too accustomed

to one kind of music. Maybe god wanted

new words to note when the river moves

forward and when it forgets to flow,

new words to know which green is grass,

swamp water, or broken glass, and how

to sleep accordingly.


Emily Paige Wilson’s poetry has been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and two Pushcart Prizes. Her work can be found in The Adroit Journal, The Boiler Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, PANK, and Thrush, among others. She lives in Wilmington, NC, where she received her MFA from UNCW, and works as an English adjunct. She rules her life like a fine skylark and is working on her crow pose.

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