“Derrida Erasures: Trace” by Caroline Crew
Language is the property
of people beyond earshot,
those naked beings
we call society.
The others are fetters,
citizens to the slavish tongue
in the first true place:
the golden age of the newborn.
Dream of guarded harems as crude as you please.
If the only needs we ever experienced
we would gesture alone.
Voice would penetrate me violently,
an acoustic sign to temper the praise of passion.
But there is a complicity between voice and heart
that installs a sort of fiction,
and moves us
to continuous nostalgia,
for sweet salaams in the secrets of gallantry.
The South passes into its own North,
to the south of the South
and broaches its morrow:
the frontier begins to decay
the water hole corrupts its dryness
the barbaric shepherd grasps his herds.
Here, the dance degenerates.
Now it is a point- pure, fictive
We say, name, describe
but abstract places are territories
expressed only when our feet skip with joy.