Naked to All Interpretation

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There is a speaking in tongues by the dead,
like the anaesthetic babble
of a patient held down in death-likeness by his drugs:
geyser of vituperation and sentiment, names
of lost dogs and lovers—faces
melting together in a fire. And what is mixed there…
the listeners, pausing with sponge, clamp,
bisturi, and laser scalpel, can’t make it out.
The voice of the dead through another
head, another voice—a widow
doddering, rocking her body, in the cemetery
where her lover festers. The voice of the dead,
the poem naked to all interpretation,
a muttering humming with no one now
to speak for it. Its author, its husband gone, the one
who raised it from the stony beach of sounds.
Its shepherd gone, leaving it
wandering idly around. A thread stretching
with knots of rage and homesick lamentation
through all ears, mouths, and streets.