Before English by Nicholas Bradley

Poem title: Before English Poet name: Nicholas Bradley Poem: or any other human language, we had in common brute sounds, so we spoke Dog, Cat, Sheep, and Platonic Bird, which in your quasi- corvine dialect was a voiceless velar fricative: [x], [x], [x] (but not ich, dich) whenever you looked to sky or branch. With your finchlike hand almost frictionless in my rough parenthesis, we shared a lexicon of touch, the moment gone as soon as you slipped your articulate fingers from mine, pouted your lips to look like owls in books and marched off screeching, strange and fluent as streams in spring, barbarian unto me. End of poem. Credits and bio: Copyright © Nicholas Bradley Previously published in Before Combustion (Gaspereau Press, 2023). Nicholas Bradley is the author of two books of poetry: Rain Shadow and Before Combustion. He teaches at the University of Victoria.