Attention fraying
in late afternoon light, soon
day will be done, not

the work incumbent on it
—whatever that might have been—

Gnarls of an old text
in the other alphabet:
can I unknot them,

reweave mirror fabric of
liminal unravelings?


Liminal space where
exiles with dictionaries
lose themselves: barzakh,

Arabic isthmus, the span
from death to resurrection

in Farsi: limbo,
where Socrates murmurs to
unbaptized babies

in contrapuntal cognates,
they hear fardous, paradise. 

Copyright © 2016 by Marilyn Hacker. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 2, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.