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If We Had Words

by Yakov Azriel

If we had words, we might have said the night
was warm. If we had words, we might have said
although the night we shared was warm, the bed
we shared was warmer than the night, we might
have said we had not only warmth, but light
to help us see. Perhaps you would have read
the words I could have written, for instead
of darkness — fire!, if we had words to write.

Instead of glaciers, seas — if we had words
to speak — warm seas whose currents would return
these words to us. Instead of winter — spring
and summer, too, instead of snowfall — birds,
instead of silence — songs for us to learn
and sing out loud, if we had words to sing.

Yakov Azriel was born in New York in 1950. He has published five full-length books of poetry, and over 350 poems in journals and online. His latest book of poems, entitled CLOSET SONNETS: THE LIFE OF G.S. CROWN (1950-2021), was published in 2017 by Sheep Meadow Press.