by Gary Hardaway

Language enables and ensnares.
Even mathematics, for all its assumed
purity and fidelity to the underlying
structure of the cosmos,

would be indecipherable
written in a truly alien hand,
the numbers not Arabic or Roman,
the symbols a complete mystery.

Even music relies on what
you know as music
for its power to enthrall.
Our grammars support our hearing

of one another but obscure the truth
we aren't prepared to understand.
Our words are lovely things
that nonetheless imprison us.