Study Guide

In Particular

by Elena Karina Byrne

In Particular eText - eText

Text of the Poem

Recognition in the body
moves like a swarm of bees: you know all
over at once. Your place
in history has not been betrayed
as you find what you really feel follows 5
no language: wild stir
of insects, flurry of birds, one bone
of the earth shows through, night root
tightened within its ground.

Can we be hypnotized by the primitive? 10
I heard a tick, tick, tick
once, turned and stared with the light
thinking about nothing.
But I noticed the fine grain of sink wood
like waves, weaving, the real bending 15
of trees against wind, over—how beautiful it was.
This is
what it is like before sudden disaster, before
the inhospitable truth:
our other brain, the one 20
which cannot speak, the one who sleeps incipient
on the job, walks the dog, erasure,
and gives in, hears
the tick, tick, tick, turns
toward it with the light 25
and makes us look—whether for the first
or last time, we look.