Today's poem is by Jason Gray

Tower of Babel

You're in the country of a thousand tongues.
Landlocked, Landlocked, you say, say, like a bird
Of some other paradise (Langue d'Oil? Langue d'Oc?).
You are locked in by the locked-in; the word

From here is sealed. The insulated heaven
Won't let itself be sieged so easily.
Forever uncompleted the tower stands,
Its skirts surrounded by phonemic debris.

Amid a crowd of the once unionized,
But now adrift, you stand, where each wind-blown
Sand grain is carving vowels into new shapes.
Searching for ways to speak that won't disown

Your soul from its inheritance, as if
The right or wrong words held the balance scale
Of everything, you open the chrysalid
Of your tongue and hope the butterfly will sail

To the right ear. But you know, after all,
We'll not be listening to one another,
But forging ahead, extended tongues like snakes,
Seeking in the air, not sound, but cover.

Copyright © 2003 Jason Gray All rights reserved
from Adam & Eve Go to the Zoo
Dream Horse Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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