Like a grain of sand added to time,
Like an inch of air added to space,
or a half-inch,
We scribble our little sentences.
Some of them sound okay and some of them sound not so okay.
A grain and an inch, a grain and an inch and a half.
Sad word wands, desperate alphabet.
—Charles Wright, from “When You’re Lost in Juarez, in the Rain, and It’s Eastertime Too” in Appalachia (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1998)