The Voice by Anne Stevenson
The ancient belief that the body lets go its ghost
Only at death, like invisible thistledown—no!
I can better believe the opposite is so,
That flesh is the fly-away guest a spacious host
Breathes in and out, an element at most
That in transmission clings and starts to grow,
Nameless today, tomorrow a face, a show,
Parented, schooled, determinedly self-engrossed.
Till eyes’ exchanges seem reliable,
And “Here I am!” agrees with “We have seen”.
A few, though, slip behind the human screen,
Where what they meet’s so wonder-terrible
They never dare pretend again they’ve been
More than a voice in the void, a link between.