All of language is in limbo,
Every word dwells in the bardo
Or perhaps the pre-existence—
These concepts never were for us
These concepts are for our concepts—
The homelands for ideas, beings
Shed by the being of living
Lifelessly extending living.
The littlest, stillest words can be
Set singing in this vacancy—
I am a word of belonging
To any body that claims me.
I am frightened next to nothing—
Permanent opposite of me.
When I am you you are not me
Sang birds fledged in your naming tree.
Every name costumes what it names
And costumes itself as a name—
But where is your costume without
The bodies craving ornaments?
What have you done with your body?
What have you done with mine? Floating
As names reduced to poetry—
Du Fu Sappho even Dante.
Leave them alone or bury them
But don’t burn them—they might not breathe
But they have earned an existence
By remembering their living
Animals hungry for living
Who burned names in order to burn
Animals inhabiting them.
We’re only your ghosts—let us be.
In the library of your brain
Thousands of ancient beings flit—
Maybe tens of thousands maybe
Hundreds of thousands that you’ve learned
In your logogeography—
Body who is a green island
Of limbo’s archipelago
Come with me—I was a poet
And I sang—after my fashion—
Humming many-limbed threnodies
Composed in terms that entered me
From the air—from human voices—
From pressed remains of stands of trees—
No name is ever punished here—
Unlike your flesh and blood we’re free.