THE LIBRARY IN TIMBUKTU

THE LIBRARY IN TIMBUKTU

by  Neeli Cherkovski

 

we know what books

maintain, and old brittle

manuscripts, every word

from a scribe waiting for sublime guidance

to make the proper lines

 

grand calligraphers painting

in Arabic script, O Light!

 

explain and

offer to guide

 

because we are

often alone

 

and we die,

 

but when the library

is torched

those lovely forms are

taken out

 

forever

and will not be seen

either in the land of the living

or in the world of the dead

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