Stone Telling

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Labyrinth Soup

by Margarita Tenser

Intriguing – teeth and tongue
and strains of sinew in the throat
and echoes of vibrations in the shell
create some kind of meaning: make a note.
That wasn't what I meant to say at all.

The pages dust your cheekbones gently as you
close your eyes. I trip downstairs and they are made
of letters. Then it's night. We stalk the wild thesauri for
their bony terminology and typeset hides. They fade
into the trees and let loose their loquacious roar.

Speak not lest ye be spoken to–
No, no, (epigrammatic/to the point/concise)
Perhaps — oh, pithy. So I thought
in wavelengths, no, no, no, precise!
We fool ourselves to think this can be taught.

So follow carefully and don't step off the track:
the trees are hungry and the woods will never lose.
I'd rather (something like a letter or a wolf) define our steps
than perish in the branches of the iron muse.
We disregard the bloody message written as we slept.

Relax. Now all that's left is (swallow/sip/suffuse)
knock back the sap of this unbidden fruit
in haste as we return to daylight at a crawl.
The labyrinth, meanwhile, expands and puts down roots;
No, no, that isn't what I mean at all.

Photography: adapted from A book that is shut is but a block. ~Thomas Fuller, by Kate Ter Haar.