He gazed into the air, searching for a word in my language.
I blinked. Across the pool a zephyr stirred, in my language.
Where was I? Where was he? Where he looked,
The air was his release; his burden, my language.
Our silence was the air itself, and the moment timeless
though a timeless moment is absurd, in my language).
So it would always be with us, back and forth:
what he implied in his, I inferred in my language.
Plain speech? There’s no such thing! I can’t tell you
how much the overwrought can undergird in my language.
Did he clear his throat? Did rain fall? Can there really be
a ringing bell or a singing bird in my language?
He blurted out the word in his own tongue, like a bell rung,
a distant bell, whose very speech was slurred, in my language.
Who am I now, gone crystalline with waiting, listening
for what I still have never heard in my language?
—Daniel Hall, “Ghazal”
Photography Credit Stephen Mallon via PDN.