Julie Poitras Santos

 

BARONSTOWN WEST MAN

                        200-400 AD, co. Kildare

                        in the National Gallery in Dublin

 

     Baronstown Man raises his hand   

                                                in the glass tomb

                                    and begins to speak –

                               

A dried toe on his small curled foot

               curls down to draw a boundary line in dirt

 

   or scratch an itching arch or slender calf

               sting of bee or bite of ant                     

The tender little hammer-toe bent under taut

    

Ribbed dry mushroom stalk           

                                                mouth flap gap-open  

                        from the central trunk

Fat shitake hipbone wings                   silent   

                                       in their pockets        

            The leather body bag of bones

breathes          

his ginger hair and stubble skullcap syntax-fixed        

                                                           

            phrasing spent and flattened where it landed                                                             

in years of acid peat and liquid

                                    pressing down

 

Baronstown Man begins to speak –

but I can’t understand his language

 

           

             

           

 

 

%d bloggers like this: