something I made up

in the mirror of enmeshed languages

survived briefly then died

in my lifetime


it was poetry

it was art

it was the ineffable stench of a dying world


I speak two human languages

each one mirrored by its twin

and followed by its echo


each word an abstracted world dying when it is spoken

followed by dreams and repetition


in the morning I make up the bed

I chase out bodies from the hollow

of repetition and the echo of mirrors

that have looked deeply into my sleep


strangers roomed there

they brought news to me

ripe fruit of words fallen on the ground

ripe fruits of babel


before the despair of twilight

sets up the mirrors for another night

daytime goes into another fleeting poem

that leaves behind shadow and echo


reader don’t bother to learn these words

i am ishi the last speaker of this coiled wire


my mysterious languages buzz in mirrors

inside and outside your homes

some of them are in your dreams

narcissus doesn’t care where he sleeps

to vanishing mirrors polluted springs


absorbed by screens of forgetting

Andrei Codrescu is a Romanian-born American poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and commentator for National Public Radio. He is the winner of the Peabody Award for his film Road Scholar and the Ovid Prize for poetry.

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