We used to say that knowledge is of natural
And primordial elements, though one thought of
Which moves, which grows when fed, whose red,
Sleeps with continuous breath beneath the
The child or primitive says it's living or
Yet even of individuals there are certainties.
Of facts which privilege our way of knowing
there's no great list
Or argument stronger than the fact that we
Our recognitions not with effort but with ease.
What's true of one is true of every Socrates.
So let our notions bind us, let Derrida's not
Lest in the emergency, we, too, be like the
Who crouched in the closet, hiding, by a bad
The reasonable notion that there the fire could
not find him.
1994; originally printed in Sparrow.
Reprinted by permission
of the author.