What remains is not your letter
but what you used to seal it

not your fingers
but what they touched

carved in lapis
I wrote you of a hero

in carnelian
in chalcedony

You       impressed

not your oil-and-water-name
but your symbol carved to say it:

in frit a weather-god on a lion-dragon

Which you wore around your throat

Ill never take it off
Not even when Im dead

or next to your heart

Scorpion-man and bull-man still battling on a little cylinder

1800 B.C.

1700 B.C.

The numbers always speeding towards zero

In banded agate a king grappling with a lion
(a mute guard stands by)

What held the breath in
the seal out
you pressed further into this clay

Wrote the letter Id at last receive

Cover your eyes
Say youll soon come hunting

in rose quartz

In rock crystal

Griffin-demon and griffin struggle over a calf

1200 B.C.
1100 B.C.

(We count backwards and forget)

Frankie Drayus received an MFA from New York University and has poems and short fiction appearing or forthcoming in Ninth Letter, diode, Third Coast, poemeleon, Passages North and Art/Life Ltd. Editions, which also used some of her collage art. Her manuscript of poems was a finalist for the 2007 May Swenson Poetry Prize. Currently she lives in Los Angeles. (frankiedrayus@gmail.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761