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.