Before

There was a time before when I was alone
in myself.

There was a time before eating, before
the time for eating.

There was a time before laughing, before
Mary before a lamb.

There was a time before walking, before
two legs and two lines.

There was a time before words, before
watching them form, before forming a
word.

There was a time before gods, before God,
before, G-d.

There was a time before lie, before
life(living and lived), before lived.

There was a time before kings, before
kingdoms, before lionizing before kings.

There was a time before enumerating,
before numerals written in dust, before
writing, before dust.

There was a time before tenuously, Tevye,
a time before Tevye browning above my
apple-potato pancake knee, before apple
or potato.

There was a time before a carpenter’s
song, before a Carpenters’ song, before
song.

There was a time, before there was, a
time before.

There was a time before tedium.

There was a time before Alva Edison,
before electric light, electric light,
electric light.

There was a time before the curse, before
the curse of before, before the curse.

There was a time before four, before
Frege & Plato & Godel and Gehrig,
for before.

There was a time before there was a time.