It’s a wordless place where I spend most of my time these days. Language is a bridge that gives out without warning, a friend then a foe, the metal against your skin that is either too cold or too hot.

So I’m giving into my proclivities. Leaning on metaphor rather than exposition, on suggestion rather than description. The words of others feel like trail markers, and I’m so grateful when I see a stone stack to reassure me that this actually is a path, that others have come this way many times before. I am not lost yet.

Franz Wright is the son of poet James Wright (whose haunting poem To The Muse was posted here on June 5.) I read this and was reminded that death is not the only way nature tells you to be quiet. And this line served up a precise and deep incision: “your conflagration starved/to diamond.”

Translation

Death is nature’s way
of telling you to be quiet.

Of saying it’s time
to be weaned, your conflagration starved
to diamond.

I’ll give you something to cry about.

And what those treetops swaying
dimly in the wind spelled.

Franz Wright

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