Unless we create it how do we know that it’s real?

Josh English

Since the world did not conform to our desire
for instructions, we took to naming things.  
We began with what we recognized: family, sky,
lakes and fog, then moved on to recognition
itself.  This is how we allowed art to restart us,
slowly at first, then faster, like an old hand-crank
car.  From my place at the window I can see
the night rides in on horses, fast and loud and full
of thunder and then it's gone.  To live in this world
is to swear an allegiance to motion, and so we built
steam ships, airplanes, shopping carts.  Look,
I am just trying to do my part to claw us out
of the age of reason and into this miracle we built.  
When it started to rain the grass curled upward
like perfume, clearing a space in which I could rest.
Is it any wonder we say falling asleep?  That we need
to believe that calm is a controlled descent?  
And as for the lawn mower, the flashlight, the body pillow
and the rust-proof saw blades; is it all leading up
to this: that I could stand in the cold early morning
before a mirror and say for certain: this is me.