Playing with Words


On starless nights they come
to dance beneath my fingers.
I hardly hear their hum
or know why this one lingers
and that one flies unsung,
no stopping for its den.
Their savor on my tongue,
I cup them loosely, then
put down their ghosts on paper.
Like fire, though they tame
at times, like lighted taper,
they scald me all the same
with gleaming little feet.
Thank Heaven I know
their language, silent, sweet,
to call them: do not go!
to stay their motions fleet
and hear their message, low,
on starless nights.

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