Lost Calligraphy

signs build themselves a web
in us; their vigilance holds its victims
taut as the tock
winds up its metallic neck

yet who unshines their brightness
against walls like marble rings
whenever some sound pounds its
soft moment into mass diffusion?

to find space only
to let be

breathe, blindly
for the lost calligraphy
whose lungs once bumped solemn
across neutral bursts of rangeland

the air, scarce and grainy,
would recall its hoarse gestures
if ever the neckwork broke
into swimming shellsong


© J. Celan Smith