Russian

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(For Robert Dessaix)
 
Since the dead have stopped talking, I’ve

turned to the media. Though I only listen

now & then, it seduces every time –

original good and original sin came



wrapped in its intimate registers, filtered

through childhood’s ears: I am crying on

my mother’s lap, or holding my father’s

hand, and the rise & fall of their voices



binds me to them like blood. This foreign

language I’ve learned to speak is the

algebra of my mind, the grammar of

my heart – absorbed, taken for granted



like food, or the light of day. But then

there are the other sounds – the texture

of my mother tongue is the nearest I know

to breathing, a reflex older than thought.



I see lips moving on subtitled screens,

but let their sense drift over my head

as I wallow in the sound – they may be

plotting some dismal crime, but pitch



and cadence are beyond corruption,

and spirit me home every time: I am

three years old, I am saying my prayers,

and preparing for untroubled sleep.


 

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Existing comments

How divine... "I am
three years old, I am saying my prayers,
and preparing for untroubled sleep" is just beautiful.
Aurora Lowe | 21 September 2006


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