Poets of a Dead Language
by Richard Fenwick

________Place, man, cattle, creature-kind,
__________& tree of every image
________taking place.
______– Akhenaton, 3,400 years ago

Let’s imagine them in a circle
at a fire pit that has burned for days,
and final feathers of sun to paint
the sky in every shade of red.

Perhaps they sip a sour wine
as the quiet one chants a tribal tale:
dragon smoke and gathered clouds
black, like nighttime rivers,

or how the moon scrubs demons
to guard them when they dream.
Let’s say they had a word for him,
and render it as poet. Let’s say

we sip our wine and speak
his tongue, draped in a thousand
winters past, chant our tales
beside this gray-scaled fire,

each word a stone that rings
our pit in songs of songs, each
memory a dead poet, tossed
like bone-white paper planes
in twilight skeins of time.

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