What Else Are You Trying to Prove?

- after Camille T. Dungy's "Frequently Asked Questions"

Preven, pruven, probare, probar—to test
or judge by trial, render certain, dispel doubt.
Also, in making bread, the final fermentation;
the final rise, the blooming under a warm
and humid dome, loaf-body hugged by a coiled
basket. After all, isn't any worthwhile labor 
like digging beneath the upper strata of words, 
down through packed and stony layers? 
There is no else. There's only the dry season, 
unfed lakes; dust storms and blistering heat, 
unless your fingers find the lucky vein, the hidden 
route to the water table. Don't you see how
even the corpse-eating birds languish 
from their lifetime diet of desiccants?

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