It is written
writing's source in the arts-
recreated into increasingly abstract symbols,
writing's roots from the earth-
Dense pieces of clay
that Sumerian accountants used
to keep track of livestock and stores of grain.
the shepherd holds a lease from the village: 48 hectares of wheat.
One pair of wheels bound with bronze, unfit for service.
Four slaves of Koradollos in charge of seed corn-
Aigeus the Cretan brings them.
none of these tablets
any literary work.
No history, no artistry,
nor any diplomatic instructions,
personal letters, religious texts, historical writings,
save these precisely detailed bureaucratic records of petty commercial transactions.
a future civilization
translating through time
the magnetic computer language
of a long-buried microchip,
to their great disappointment,