Every Atom


An all Walt Whitman imitation—
“Song of Myself”

For every atom belonging to me belongs to you.
My tongue, every atom of my blood, formed from this soil, this air,

The smoke of my own breath, passing of blood and air through my lungs,
The sound of the words of my voice to the eddies of the wind.

To elaborate is no avail, sure as the most certain sure,
I and this mystery here we stand.
Clear and sweet, the unseen is proved by the seen,
Till that becomes unseen shall I postpone my acceptation and realization.

These come to me days and night and go from me again,
Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am.

I believe in you, swiftly spread around me the peace and knowledge
And I know that the hand of God is the promise,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother,
And that creation is love, and limitless are leaves, and brown ants, and mossy scabs.

I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A gift bearing the owner’s name, that we may see, and say
All goes onward and outward,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?

The little one sleeps in its cradle, living and buried,
I come and I depart.

The doors stand open and ready, and I am there.

You should have been with us that day.
I saw the far west and he came to my house, I heard his motions and led him in
And brought water, and gave him a room, and gave him clean clothes,
And remember perfectly well, I had him sit next me at the table.

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