March 23, 2010

After The Book of Light | Deborah Poe

so many languages have fallen
off the edge of the world
into the dragon’s mouth. some

where there be monsters whose teeth
are sharp and sparkle with lost

people. lost poems. who
among us can imagine ourselves
unimagined? who

among us can speak with so fragile
tongue and remain proud?

“here yet be dragons,” Lucille Clifton


which woman with identity aches

possesses the goal of wanting less

is joy without presage of misery

antonym of light the American politic

language the loss

heavy the war company

broken bodies cockeyed promises

rattlesnake grandfather memory

loss’ tenacity, infinity of trees, the whole buried in

all the vowels (three stresses)

usual talk versus dancing tongue

language’s treasures still possibility in flight

song rhythm of song

lightning bolt

and light is so many things

what if reflected silent

belly of the under news

witnesses so many were, are

camera (images) as a history safe

(bring back the beauty)

not even superman could crack—

build something human

of anger and love


“your tongue splintered into angels”


your frequency of light

Note: This piece constructed from marginal notes taken while reading The Book of Light in 2006-2007. Lucille Clifton, your language a light dangling, falling, unfailing.

Deborah Poe

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