By Peter Taylor

I am the beginning of language.


The worn type heaped in my guts

with ink, grease, bits of paper

on which I have spelled the word


as the world’s biography.


My guts fashioned

the invincible Roman

from a cauldron of impurities:

angular face, trim beard, spine

like a ramrod

from shoulder to foot.


Bodies of every sort


from my fire.


My legions

march across the page

into language,

thought clicks into place,


hardens into being.     


“Hell-box” was originally published by Descant