The Epic Of Gilgamesh

It was not the first literature,
no more than the first human began life –
words have been with us always
sucking coolly at our throats,
from plaintive mewling in the caves and grasslands,
taking strength and shape – clicks, curls,
have they not fed on us?
are we not their domesticated apes?
What proof do we have, even now,
that oubliette, fiefdom, sassafras,
do not linger,
waiting to be spoken
and again sip a little life?

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