“Desire” Peter Sirr

Reconstruct me from a closing bookshop,
from the panic of shelves
where old cars trick the spirit, manuals
of self-repair; gods, geography, money

and little time. Sniff the air in poetry,
lay a blanket down and wait
where a furious concentration hunches over
Teach Yourself Amharic, Aramaic:

there’s hardly time to say hello, hardly
a hair’s breadth of the language to take away;
enough to be silent in, enough to watch
the insistent dust-mote

grow its mountain, the dromedaries
appear. Someone is arguing
in Old Norse, the sun wakes up in Persian
and I am walking out

with grains of light, pyramid crumbs.
Elsewhere, in the desert, in the hilltop village,
on an endless, meandering train
the soul puts down its books, fluent again.

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