Judson Jerome (1927-1991 / United States)
Empire in Winter
Love equals people times the square of the speed
If we but knew the way to split
our atoms of isolation, paradise
might be regained. Pipes are frozen under
the slow snow now. We sleep together mostly
to save our scanty firewood. Maybe need
will mother love's invention.
is how we learn to do. The blizzard brings
neighbors together laughing at the store
as tumid pewter clouds let fall the seeds
of oblivion and renewal.
Should any find
these tattered words in the mud of the spring thaw,
carried by the spring flood, caught on the twigs
innocently greening, know words
us, words tasted of apple, words blurred our vision,
built our empire, spread our cancer, words
troubled our sleep like sand, know words,
the curse of Babel, made the many out
of one, yet secretly as tendrils in
the soil these whispered affirmations still
convey the spirit back to one again.
(lost under snow)
who found words husked
of his name could winter well
and bear the light.
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