Three Attempts at Speaking in Tongues

“… in order to translate one must cease to be.”
–Mark Strand           
1.
a metaphor is
a translation
this open hand
a form of words
fossil poems
emerson said
diatoms
to abrade
my soul
a metaphor
for the voice
I translate
me to
you
2.
a figure moves
across a square
head down
troubled by all
the day to
day travails
to a sound
or a thought
his head rises
with the sun
and he’s translated
into himself
3.
he vanished into a story
he told about himself
to others when nervous
or in awkward situations
or when despite his caution
he realized he was in love
for he knew whatever he said
she would only hear what she heard
and he could slip safely between
his simple plot and darker intent
(May 2012)

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