cuneiform
poem by Joseph Farley

January 24, 2011

I have ceased to write for my contemporaries.
Man’s eyes need not see or read this.
The mask of extinction beckons to be worn
by individuals and the species.
We seem intent on driving our cars over the cliff,
laughing and listening to music,
ignoring the road kill left in our wake.

I have abandoned the pen
and picked up a stylus,
and sharp blade for carving marks
on wet tablets of clay,
ready to bake in oven or sun.

These words will never be read.
No one will recognize the characters.
No one will decipher the sounds.
The meaning will be lost,
yet these words will live on,
squiggles etched in baked clay
found in a cave in desert hills
by whatever it is that comes after us.

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