Poems of the Week

Word of Fire

by Eddie Aderne

“From deep within a papyrus scroll that has not been read in almost 2,000 years and would crumble to pieces
if unrolled, researchers have retrieved a handful of letters and a single word: ‘porphyras,’ ancient Greek for ‘purple.'”
The New York Times

Porphyras: murex fish; the dye thereof:
Unique discovery, hard work to gain;
Rushing (of sea, or blood); a precious rain
Poured into reeds; color of death, of love,
Lured from an ancient shell: purport’s impasse
Erupts, however briefly. Porphyras.