Every Atom | No. 169

Marie Howe

Introduction to Every Atom by project curator Brian Clements

ea logo


The Singularity        

(  after Stephen Hawking )


Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity

we once were


so compact nobody

needed a bed, or food or money


nobody  hiding in the school bathroom

or home alone


pulling open the drawer

where the pills are kept.


For every atom belonging to me as good

Belongs to you.   Remember?


There was no   Nature.     No

 them.    No tests


to determine if the elephant

grieves her calf     or if


the coral reef feels pain.    Trashed

oceans don’t speak English  or Farsi or French;


would that we could wake up   to what we were

when  we were ocean     and before that


to when sky was earth , and animal was energy,  and rock was

liquid  and stars were space and space was not


at all—nothing


before we came to believe humans were so important

before this awful loneliness.


Can molecules recall it ?    

What once was ?    Before anything happened?


No I, no we ,  no one. no was

no verb          no noun


only  a tiny tiny dot brimming with

is is  is is is


All   everything   home

placeholder width 225px height 300px

Marie Howe is the author of four books of poems, most recently Magdalene (Norton). 


Cover art by Maddie Bonthuis