Lynn Powers  © 2006 All Rights Reserved

Dialectic
First Lines from Ricardo Piglia  

We yearn for a more primitive
language than our own,

but take in words with metered grace,
swallow the garments they’ve worn.

Mimic sounds, imagine
we are known, comprehensible.

City, I say, something granite
forming in my mouth. City,

you agree, glass blooming
in iridescent shards of blue.

Mammoth, I explain, woolly
and extinct. Mammoth, you exclaim,

syllables spanning a Himalayan
peak, an astronomer’s unmapped universe.

And so we translate each other’s wills
out of subjunctives and indicatives.

One wanting the other, the other wanting
something absent, unwrapped.

As, ears pressed to the ink, we wait
and the echo turns the phrase.

Rebecca Morgan Frank
Copyright © 2006

 

REBECCA MORGAN FRANK’S poems have been published or are forthcoming in such journals as the Georgia Review, the Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, Many Mountains Moving, and Calyx. She is the co-founder and editor of the online journal Memorious: a forum for new verse and poetics, www.memorious.org.


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