Translated from the Greek
for Alicia Stallings
Ripped moorings drift within your reach
as you save wordlings from their fate
like children plucked from stranger fires.
Phrases arranged to hide or teach
condemn or love in measured weight
unhidden from ancient pyres
sing out of shattered aspirations
to rise and fall at your command.
These words you wean from mother tongues
stumble into foreign nations
ignorant of their master’s hand;
they fight with the fury of the young
shoring the fragments of our ruin
against a broken civilization.