New Alphabet

Then, when lips refused and the tongue
froze, when the throat burned yet was not
consumed, even one syllable words wore
faces of demons, cackled with voices
of demons, fled beyond mountains and seas
with the cunning of demons. Can a child
who is slow of tongue and with no
holy mission defy demons?

Still dark. A frail moon crowns
my head. I breathe effortlessly
and lead an infinite column
of words, all clearly enunciated
and shimmering, like white vapors
before the crack of dawn. Sun,
do not rise lest they fade away.

Writing would have been easier, or
the feel of flesh on flesh. And yet
not by divine decree, nor in six
working days, but by struggling
my whole life for this -- to create
the alphabet anew so that I
may utter now to you, Beloved

added December 17, 1996