The Language of Mice

And while I was limping
Back to the place I call home
A ragged man with ragged clothes
And ragged hands and ragged eyes
Out of one nowhere
Into another
I call mine.

He said his buddies called him Max
Though they spoke the tongue of mice
And leaned towards my face
Took a good look upon the lines
And said he’d help me.

He said, our souls live on the meteors
That drift through space over our heads
Over the roofs, the city towers and the clouds
Where the eternal blackness reeks of God
And rains black particles of poetry
To any fleshy antenna looking for it.

He said that in the end, we all grow rot
That we become too much to handle
And when we fall, we fall teeth first
And we injure the ground
Where we refuse to cling.

He said that the stars used to have names
Before the arteries got mapped
He said there was a river, far to the south
Full of fish that fed on birds
But its name was too sad to pronounce.

And then he said that he knew you
By name and by heart
Like the highways in his palms
He knew where you led
And where you would take me
One soul’s a meteor, he said
But a pair makes a comet
And two falls make a kiss
And two birds are too much
For any fish to handle.

Stretch your antennas, he said
And the black rain will reach you
And you’ll know
The names of the stars
And the language of mice.


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