We Speak in Dead Languages

Before you can translate
or apologize,

your vision becomes
like snow or pollen.

We are a labyrinth
of blackened fragments,
a cacophony of bitterness—

burnt parchment,
like dried flower petals,

or a desert of hope.

Nothing’s permanent,
but I want to trust
the intonation
of your breathing

learn the language
suffocating in your throat.

Ash Cardona holds an MFA from Augsburg University. She lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, daughter, and two naughty but charming dogs, where she teaches high school students to care about language. Sometimes she is successful at this. Her poems can be found in Dressing Room Poetry Journal, Lumina Journal, and Poetry City USA. Instagram & Twitter: @akvcardona