Tuesday, March 17, 2009

the names of ten children

You must kill 40 in death...
• the tails of a hundred cats
• the noses of three kings
• an apple grown by chance on a lemon tree
• a flock of tethered birds contained somehow yet still in flight
• the smallest grain of sand in all the Orient
• the mandibles of a mandarin beetle, insect that knows all things but speaks not
• the names of ten children who died before they could be named
• a flock of sheep dressed as scribes and trained in every clerical task
• a box of fingers kissed in parting by chaste lovers in elder days

~ Þórdís Björnsdóttir

[Chicago Avenue east of Damen Avenue]

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