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While Babel Fell
Brianna Flavin (bio)

We could have accomplished anything
we were saying,
silkpod tongues curling to cocoon in our mouths.

You once said we’d build wings like this,
people working together—
study the kestrel, osprey and ibis
fly to heaven, taste the wine, and back.

All our committees disbanded and worthless. Fights
            crack across the street—
someone felling the gardens of cypress,
            someone striking the scribes with a whip,
                        someone pouring dark honey
      the whole Euphrates down.

I wound through back-alleys like script curving
                        from a pen, until I found you, took your tongue
            in mine, said with my body,
                        what I meant.

                        I was watching two hummingbirds

thrum and shudder, a nectar center.
Pleasure in taste,
pleasure in plump, whirring bodies.
  That blur
where wings should be.

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