Hagar, or, the Insufficiency of Metaphor by Lemuel Johnson

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such grief might make mountains stop

reverse the waters where they flow

Anna Akhmatova, ‘Dedication’

I go, because you say nothing.

heavy in the mouth

the dead meat that weighs

heavy in your mouth

now is my tongue

move, if you are still, if,

that is, you will still

make me move.

in a short while, you will say

nothing important, no matter how

secretly tied to the bottom of eternity

to the austere touch that is to come:

the one that fears nothing irreparable

when last seen;

that centre was always nothing but a dot,

and it wears out, now,

in the unlikelihood of being, myself,

ever the centre of yourself;

or of some god’s late turn

to trade and traffic

and windstorm and sentence.

something grows and grows

raw in my very throat.

if you are still, move.

before you say another nothing.

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