Journal » Trout 16 » When Language Dies [Chelsea Duarte]
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When language dies

Chelsea Duarte

of all things forgotten,
beautiful when lost,

your ancestors became my
flag of knowledge, strung
by a few threads.

Lingua Franca, the glossing speech:
how can I enumerate my chromosome
never remembering my nature, not
my mother cooing
a dusky memory within the thudding
womb? never

daring to pronounce
more than two words in her language,
for fear my tongue would drop
with the new sounds and dissolve?

The singing
produces seeds that crack on ground,
as if erasing
knowledge is something as
casual as sweeping

the floor; Dead language,

some argue,
is something to unload
on the archaeologists.

surviving on
her last utterances (but
under a different context,
and only by fistful of what existed
before) budding

murmurings engraft
on the edge of a ruby
periphery, a red

jewel tied to a string
round my ankle,

becomes my perpetual

oh, I've never understood its complexity or illustrated
a pattern where threads thin
fine enough to shinny
filigree, before
themselves as ornaments
on my teeth,

where death takes place
then, and with new purpose: that is,
to keep mouths


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© Copyright 2010 Chelsea Duarte & Trout.