JUSTIN COMPLAINS TO THOTH, THE GOD OF SCRIBES AND TUTOR TO HIS DAUGHTER
I fear your sky filling with Ibis.
Their wings make one wing.
Their beaks make one beak.
Their flock is shaped like the hieroglyphic
sign for you, Thoth, an Ibis. Unsubstantial
winds should sustain that language
that lives prior to speech, but you,
who stood by my daughter in all ways,
except physical presence,
could not teach the word that leads
to the words that make a mind a nest
filled with nestlings struggling
like thoughts to take flight.
When my daughter looks up
she sees birds being clouds
and clouds being birds
and a sky without gods.
The downward tilted tip
of the Ibis beak is like
the reed the scribe uses
to turn his lines into pictures,
but the lines the Ibis makes
when he probes the mud,
stirs up crabs, beetles, worms,
and sometimes a lizard
small enough to swallow.
You never taught her to sing.
Since the Ibis is a songless bird,
my girl must hum herself into