How the Words Died

p
o
e
m
s

without heroism

               /               guards falling asleep

               /               a blood sky down

a storm of falsehoods blowing in

               /               thick gray vortices

               /               & walls of unmeaning

long-clawed lightning strikes

               /               the words terrified

               /               clinging to a tree

               /               wind lifted tossed up cast

into the air to be toyed with

               /               an imperial death watch

               /               the many twisting turns

until they wearied and gave up

               /               how each fell one by one

               /               naming in their tongues

the quaint villages they had come from

Fred Marchant is the author of five books of poetry, the most recent of which is Said Not Said (Graywolf Press).

You Might Also Enjoy

The Sage of Bucyrus

Verdy Cousins

The Final Lesson The men standing in the moonlight on that narrow porch represented the best of Bucyrus–the mayor, Colonel Hank. . .

stories

Baffler Newsletter

New email subscribers receive a free copy of our current issue.

Further Reading

 July 3

On a snowy, sleety evening last November, inside the auction room at Phillips on Park Avenue, Henry Highley was waiting at. . .

Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy.