Lingua Dei Morti

Having mastered French, German, Portuguese,
Greek both ancient and modern and enough
of Persian Farsi to get by in the marketplace
he turned his not inconsiderable intellect
to the only remaining challenge truly worthy
of his efforts, namely the acquisition
of the language of the dead.

And so, with lips painstakingly desiccated and
a projection of papery dry leaves in his head,
he forced out those empty scraps of sound
normally uttered only in the long beyond.
The syntax was awkward and the grammar
unwieldy but he was still able to communicate
a clearly intelligible message:

I speak to you. I listen. I bid you welcome.
I stand ready to mediate between the quick
and the dead. Gather round and tell me your
stories, sorrows, triumphs, random anecdotes.
Your secrets are safe with me, for I know the
sacred clichés: bear witness – sacred ground –
lives that will never be the same.

Jeffrey Park is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University (BA) and Towson University (MAT). He currently lives in Munich, Germany where he works at a private secondary school, as well as teaching business English to adults. His poems have appeared in Subliminal InteriorsMobiusPunk Soul PoetThe Corner Club PressYes, Poetry and elsewhere.

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