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Speaking a Dead Language
I trespass on sentences that ash has muffled,
the lichen overgrown; then re-kindle tropes
that farmers dropped in their kitchen grates
with the husked corn and blue glass beads
when the northmen rode in on champing roans.

Hindsight is a poor cousin to revelation.
Listening to the hiss and splatter of rain,
the crackle of fire between the words,
voicing my breath in strange shapes of mouth

is like looking for you.

The north-rose flowers in every direction
on the tattered map I pull from a chest,
a hidden magnet
around which iron filings frame a crown.

I flatten the continents on a table
and read there of our love,
not lost but translated,
its cadences learned again
in other countries by other tongues.