The Invention of Language
Hour of copper, and a gust outflanks the clustered horde, tumbling down the plunderer's door
a grain—the signature of the sphere and sacrifice, baroque cartographies, the worm's almanac;
town of bones, and to the invaded skull the recollection that gives form to lightning, spellbinding
the disbanded nerves—until the wind bears itself, swift on the butterfly's wing, and voices a name.
Hour of copper in the town of bones: sonorous this Spring, sonorous the spear-studded sun, sonorous the skin that swims in light!
Hamad Al-Rayes is a writer and translator from Bahrain, currently residing in New Orleans. His research, short stories, and poems have been published in a number of Arabic and English imprints, including ANTIGRAVITY (forthcoming), Mizna, Translation Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review. He is currently co-editing a special issue of Middle East Literatures, focused on modern Arabic poetry.