Old words I stumbled upon


(August 2006)

Somewhere else there are still the arched ceilings and toppled columns,
the forms of gold, the smooth silver tongues, those emerald eyes.
The coming of age, the enlightenment, the huge vast shifts, the stars that fell
and what surprised me was the easy eggshell sound of all those heavy idols shattering.

I expected the sky to split, or at least to wake up tangled in my sheets
gasping from nightmares of loss, instead of slow quiet dreams
of the small simple things that will never be.
Vague recollections become entirely visceral—
all we have is skeletons and all this flesh to fill in the spaces and
the old telephone cords are gone, with their kinks and tangles
wrapped around your waist as you stitch the distances closer.
All this flesh and our communications that are words

are words are words are words
are empty words, the semantics and the inflection of familiar syllables with
insufficient undertones of
the crackle of nerve endings and synapses
the romances and tragicomedies orchestrated behind eyelids
the rush of breath held in or let out because
the bodies we used to reminisce with
got lost along the way
underneath all our conveniences,

and if we had something more than words perhaps I could tell you
just what I mean.

(holy things behind rusty locks)


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