The Grain of Sand, the Morning Wind
after Andrew Soloman’s Far from the Tree
In the Balinese village, Bengkala, Deaf Village,
inhabitants have their own language of sign.
They have no conditional tense and the incapacity
to ask why questions. They cannot ask, if God is
merciful, why were Jews the victims of Hitler’s
genocide, or why was Hiroshima chosen as
the site of dropping the first atomic bomb.
They cannot ask why there is something
rather than nothing or why there is no sound.
Cognition occurs in the dance of hands, but
they have no categorical words; such as, animal.
Every cow is a certain cow, a special being,
a sacred soul. Each human has a name, but no one
knows him as human. A wondrous multiplicity
spins in their cosmos. The exact moment, the grain
of sand, the morning wind that has a spirit
and lifts the palm frond gently. For Deaf Village,
it has never been invented to ask why it blows.