Lexicon — By Roy Beckemeyer


someone speaks in a tongue I will never know”

                             —Kevin Rabas, “Translation”

Speaking this wordless language

of decades and seasons,

shared glances and barely

perceptible smiles,

brushings in passing,

looking up from a scene

to see it imprinting in each

other’s cascade of memories,

knowing we are both

descending that staircase,

lifting left feet over the same

scuffed patch of carpeting,

relaxing our fingers’ grip

at that splintered bit of railing,

seeing the sun spattering through

leaves into the dark corner

of the stairwell, opening

the door through which

we stepped together,

that first time, so many

years ago, when we inscribed

the initial entries in love’s lexicon

of lives lived long together.

~ Roy Beckemeyer

Roy Beckemeyer’s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (2019, Blue Cedar). Stage Whispers (2018, Meadowlark) won the 2019 Nelson Poetry Book Award. Music I Once Could Dance To (2014, Coal City) was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. Roy Beckemeyer has designed and built airplanes, discovered and named fossils of Palaeozoic insect species, and once traveled the world. Beckemeyer lives with and for his wife of 60 years, Pat, in Wichita, Kansas.

Guest Editor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of 24 books, including How Time Moves: New & Selected Poems; Miriam’s Well, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community, and Coming Home to the Body. Founder of Transformative Language Arts, she leads writing workshops widely, coaches people on writing and right livelihood, and consults on creativity. YourRightLivelihood.com, Bravevoice.com, CarynMirriamGoldberg.com


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