Ancient Wonders: The Modern World
by Diane Jarvenpa
Origins of Writing
Fingers black and sticky,
I sit in this solitary narrow chair
spilling the salt and flowers
of ink figures onto paper.
You read these,
you keep them.
They are not the clay tablets of Elba,
they are not the gold votive tablets of Pyrgi,
they are not Chinese oracle bones.
They are signal, listing, record, symbol,
picture, keyhole, journey, shadow,
mistake, gaze, honks, spinnings,
pylon, chalk-lines, thicket, bubblings,
murmur, salvo, longing, promise.