Brian Laidlaw

Poet | Songwriter | Educator

Flint

 

Tell me how the big bang felt

Was it your spark at the center of the asteroid belt?

Before there was a fire

Before there was a thing for us to burn

Nothing’s where we came from

And nothing is where we will return

But I am here to learn

 

Tell me how it felt to be birthed

Could you tell from the outset that your planet was curved?

This metal table’s flatter

Than any other matter I’ve seen

I looked to you, protector

Your face was a projector screen

But I’m here to find out what you mean

 

Tell me how you first learned to speak

Because language is the landscape that gets left to the meek

Since then it’s been a mission

To find the definition of strong

Either it’s to flare bright

Or to smolder all night long

Anytime I guess I get it wrong

 

Before there was a fire

Before there was a thing for us to burn

Nothing’s where we came from

And nothing is where we will return

But I am here to learn

 

Tell me how your first love began

What’s your inspiration for woman and man?

When you cast them in your image

Did you hold a scrimmage within?

In preliminary thinking

Did you have an inkling who would win?

What a way for love to begin

 

Tell me how your first love split

With hot apple cider sweetening their spit

Their bodies getting wetter

Ignoring every letter of the law

If everybody’s fallen

Then is that what we’re calling a draw?

What about that one, pa?

Tell me how it feels to be divine.

If all of this is yours, then is any of it mine?

The lilies on the nightstand

The woman holding my hand before?

The tension in my shoulders

The peace-dreams of the soldiers at war?

I am here to be sure

 

Tell me how it’s going to feel to die

Will it mean as little as the days passing by?

Or is it like the cavemen

Who drill holes and trepan out their skulls?

Drain the evil humors

And the rumors that cluttered their souls?

Lay them in the tinder

And strike down a cinder of flint

After a fire

Does anyone inquire where it went?

Is this all that my life meant?

 

After the fire

After there’s nothing left to burn

Nothing’s where we came from

And nothing is where we will return

But I am here to learn