Edward Mayes


Until An Hour Ago I Hadn'T Known The Colophon

Until an hour ago I hadn't known the colophon
Followed the explicit, in a logopoetical sort of
Way, after "the dance of the intellect among

Words" (Pound), perhaps in a book that
Slipped out of someone's hands into the Ionian
Sea, washed ashore, imprint of words on

The sand, sand blown into glass, glass
Into which we see ourselves, as Mimnermus
Did in Colophon in 600 B.C., seeing his lover

Through a window, her rosin to his bow, and
The incense the Franks brought back from
The Crusades, the cruces lining our faces, and

The smoke continues to rise, all of us "wearing out
The day" (Pound), or William Shakespeare that day
When he erased his last word, or that we thought

We saw Sextus Propertius that April day in Rome,
Certainly 10 B.C., no later, his praenomen given on
That day of lustration, nine days after being born,

After never the thought of wearing out, whether
If we were a letter in a word, rubbed as if we could be
Rubbed away forever, or where to go next, the next time.
82 Total read