Luigi Coppola

The Etymology of the Word ‘Yes’

In the beginning, the word was No
No came from nothing, from nowhere
No was all, No was the way
there was no nothing, naught, zero, absence,
no whatever-the-Latin-for- No-is
let alone anything
– simply, sublimely, limitlessly No
trying to spell itself
No cracked, began to doubt, then
Maybe came to being
never quite sure of itself
definitely not No, but certainly not
anything defined, more a delay, desperate
hiding a half empty lighter in a half full pocket
and always in the shadow
of No

One night, cold and twilightless
No and Maybe met
saw something to cancel out in one another
shook hands and created, out of their
doubtful negativity
the word Yes
and then
seemed possible

Luigi Coppola is a teacher and poet from London, England. He has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and his publication list includes poems that have/are due to appear in: Acumen, Anon, Equinox, Fourteen, The Frogmore Papers, Gold Dust, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Iota, Lighten Up, Magma, The Ofi Press, Orbis, Other Poetry, Pennine Platform, Poetry Digest, The Rialto, THE SHOp, Snakeskin, South, Strange Poetry and Stride Magazine.