In an archive

Each codex shoulders its buried testimony
upon a chiseled spine

Standing row upon row
The stacks in back call for rescue from their concealment,
petition to be unfolded like jonquils upon the cherrywood lectern

In the august paneled rectangle of a room,
glassed around,
a blanket of silence
drifting from the chandeliers
testifies to our confinement
But from the corners of a manuscript—
Trumpets blast downward

Blocks of gall in heavy Fraktur black impel
the vowels and breves my counterpart tirelessly threaded into a revelation
sung by four reverent voices five hundred years ago

As the afternoon wanes
just below the sculpted ceiling
a beam from a narrow casement
paints the wall gold



This poem was published in issue 10 of the Heron Clan anthology.

Andy Oram
July 5, 2020

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