Page 1,961 of the Random
House Unabridged Dictionary
is a world of testaceans and testicles,
the latter vulnerable, the former
protected by a bony shell. They squat
among test-tube babies and tessera,
thankfully past caring about Tesla’s coils.
If I’d been born in 1961 with
testicles, would I have married
me? And would we have divorced,
and I have lost the children? Would I,
like you, have grown testaceous,
drawn into the arched and vaulted
safe house I constructed
and now carry on my back?
What if randomness isn’t
random: testaceans deliberately
sidle up to testicles, page numbers
point, every sign leads inward,
each connection presses down?
If life is a test with 1,961 questions,
will I pass? I’d like to ask a turtle
if the shell is worth the weight.
I’d like to ask the Tester,
which tessera am I, a holy tile
in Your mosaic, or merely
a fragment of bone?