The Language of Leaves
I know now it began the day that you left,
This snatched up pecking of words forgotten
the loss of a language flown from my knowing
hard-bitten silence caught in my throat
tasting more of blood than of rain
& the noise that dropped from other's lips,
was more than my ears could contain.
So I watched the leaves in the yard instead
imagining theirs a true r language
& listened all summer to their shuffle & their sighing.
Had they seen you? Were you sleeping, somewhere under their sway?
But if they knew, they would not say--
"In the middle of the jungle, in the middle of the day…"
Or, perhaps it began in those nights--
on streets I scoured, tearing rags of hair,
to find you, to hold you, un-lose you again--
To press your head under my chin.
But all I found were blackened myrtles
cradling the moon in their hands-–
My fingers twisted in rags of strangers,
my soundless screams clawing at eyes
too demented to know I was there.
For if they saw you, they would not speak
Of a hard-bitten silence caught in my throat,
tasting more of blood than of rain.
Of a language lost & quite forgotten
more than my heart could contain.
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