To hear Wesley McNair reading “Speech,” click here. All along, he wants us to know, the simple solution he offers has been right there, obvious

as his open palm. No wonder
he seems a little angry with us,
who have spent our time shrugging

our shoulders and teetering our right
hands back and forth, while he’s
found this truth that makes right

and wrong perfectly divisible.
Does our doubt return
because of the loneliness

we sense in him, forming precise
compartments with his hands
at the lectern inside his small

beam of light? Or is it the absence
in his speech of an expression for two
things at once no language

seems complete without: mas o menos
comme ci, comme ca, or that
stubborn, beautiful word though.