Wednesday, August 3, 2011

All The Words Are Broken




All the words are broken.
I have these few words because I was near the bottom of heaven
when the languages fell in shards.
I nearly died, impaled
in their despairing crash.
All the words are broken, all the languages are dead.
I've sat like a child with a giant puzzle, assembling the bits
that remain.  Splinters chill my hands, blood from cut fingers
drips into the earth.
I have shackled each word recovered from the fragments
and dragged them to this page.  The work
is long: months, years, rounding up
a letter here, a syllable there,
building a fortress for their protection.
The Torah is but a vowel, the Bible a blurt,
The Koran is mixed with sand, unreadable.
Why, why are the words broken?
There was nothing strong enough to hold them,
to keep them from trying to speak the outrage.
They failed.  There are no words left to make it felt,
the outrage.  They exploded, trying to reveal the disguises of evil.  They vaporized
from the frustration that has tried down the ages
to cry against malice and injustice.
I have my work, long work ahead of me. 
My successor, and their successors, will work
to rebuild the words, to make new words, until language
is strong enough to speak with power
against the evil that bestrides the world.