by Ralph Monday
I do not know your god filtered
through you, speaking tongues,
where you sit like a broken Roman
statue reciting Etruscan.
How can I know this spirit language
that is plucked from thought’s burning
bush? Ask, and I will give you a god,
a great Grecian urn, cracked, singed
black by the fires of dead dialects
that does not speak language of the
living. Run your tongue over its fissures,
taste the waters pooled in dry desert
oasis. Fill it with all the dross of your
years: anger toward mother, father, husband’s
suicide, intoxicated philosophies only you
can decipher, days of cum and roses, black
spots on the heart singed from a welder’s torch.
Mix it all together like a spell in a witch’s
cauldron, write that ink on a granite wall,
let the god tongue split you open through
an aria’s incantations. You will be no more
whole than the butchered underbelly of a sow.
All the gods long ago retreated to the sky
when they could no longer replace the faces
of women shivered by their dark tongues.
Words do not fill emptiness. Words make
the empty, the infinite void spoke into
being before the tongues came through you.