There was an island in his chest,
and he called it “son.”
There was a small boat capsized on the ocean,
and he called it “faith.”
Once, there had been a rock he called “home,”
but now he called it only “before.”
Though he searched his lexicon,
there was no puzzle or stone
he could call “then.”
Later, of course, he would become
a buyer of graves, an arranger of marriage.
He would dig a hole, weeping, for his wife.
He would find a woman, a stranger,
for his silent son.
Later, he would walk and walk
through desert mornings, steam rising from the sand,
as though trying to shake a thought
from his head. At night, he would turn to books,
but sometimes lingered for hours
on a single sentence until he folded
the pages like a coffin and fell asleep.
As for Isaac, he wandered
into his own wilderness, a place with no words.