Leveler Poetry Journal
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Bedroom Anthropologist

An anthropologist found a tape recorder

inside a white tree in Jakarta:

hours upon hours of a lost people

whispering secrets to the heart

of this plant.  Across the night, the news hit me

in my room, where I have nothing

to tell a faraway person.

The tape picked up a language

we thought long extinct, a rain-dialect

encoded in the bamboo leaves

ancient man had fashioned

in ways Sony could never dream of.

I stay stunned for a month—ask

my ceiling.  Soon I will need

to decant my emptiness

into the nearest clay jug

or World War II radio.

Failing that, allow me to mail myself to you

O sad and future human.

Tom McCauley