Poetry: Ras Shamra


Broken glass hides
beneath my skin
in horded shards
cache of pain
almost comforting
down there
where no one probes.

Clay tablets excavated
from ruins
an ancient city’s hymn
oldest known music notation
Ugarit, 1400 BC
playing through 21st century
computer speakers
winds of Syria channeled through the room
like almond halva
against the tongue.

Do these correspondences matter
dispatches from the earth
history unearthed in sound and taste
pieces of glass
vitreous silica
work their way out
each one
reflecting something lost
coffee bean and cardamom
a memory of desire
we’ve left off
in the digital age.

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Magdalena Ball is editor-in-chief of the review site The Compulsive Reader, and is the author of the novels Black Cow and Sleep Before Evening, the poetry books Repulsion Thrust and Quark Soup, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment, and, in collaboration with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Sublime Planet, Deeper Into the Pond, Blooming Red, Cherished Pulse, She Wore Emerald Then, and Imagining the Future. Find out more about Magdalena at http://www.magdalenaball.com.