In my grandmother's bedroom, a lamp
Blinks, beaming above a rack of shoes.
Her voice is a vague chant over a page,
Conjuring shapes from silence.
Hands appear on limbs, grasp the book;
A portcullis of yearning lifts, yawning.
Dust and sun become motes of delight
Thirsting to merge with the gravity
Of music, wondering whether
Someone with searching eyes might gaze
At the meeting-place of water and sky,
Listening for the pitch of melancholy.
In the village, the voice of a poet invokes
aspen leaves, is a melody forgotten by fountains.
Frozen universes lose their density,
Words unravel for want of a poem,
Feathers of fire-birds plummet from the blue,
Bequeathing their quills into his hands.
A dreamless sleep falls from the shimmering leaves. --Sappho fragment, tr. Andrew Bellon I changed, thickened, ...
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