Saturday, July 3, 2021

Conversation in Conversation with Itself

No one is actually talking
In the vicinity of ears,
There’s no sign of gesturing hands,

And yet, here are all these voices,
Blowing in from all directions,
Phrases through all of the phases

Of liquid or solid or gas,
The frozen, fading, and shining
Coils of an open discussion

Narrow as Emily’s fellow,
Syntactically monolingual,
But more ancient than Gilgamesh.

These are the dull terms of plain skulls,
The most boring, trivial words
In a brain running background noise,

Which, if not as old as the genes,
Predate a few alleles, always
Mutating, our roots in Bronze Age

Demography, at the latest.
Etymology might as well
Be reverse-engineering jets

To recreate original
Ghosts of wagons and chariots,
And you should be willing to bet

Some words run much deeper than that,
That the rumination of teens
In Kolkata or Edinburgh,

Or anywhere in the Aleph,
Include a few, how do we say,
Echoes? Fragments? Neural patterns

With correlatives in sources
Not just thousands of years ago,
But thousands of lifespans ago?

The same with us. We have our springs
In worlds and bodies so long gone,
That whoever has carried us

Downstream a few years and heaped us
In configurations slightly
Original is more flash flood

Than author, a short kerfuffle
In a cutback of a creek gouged
From a canyon careless of stones.

We make a lovely, chunking sound
Against each other as the rush
Shifts us until the flood subsides.

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