the lover who didn’t speak

many lovers have passed

have asked too much about

things unrelated to the dialect of our bodies

many lovers have opened their mouths

too wide for me not to ignore the sounds

of exaggerated courtships and conquests

too wide for me not to see the teeth

stained by peppered stories of pursuits

but this man, this man in particular

oh, he’s a mouthful alright

in the right places, at the right time

with a language that’s not mine

but the hair standing on my skin comprehends

with neither translations nor explanations

undeterred hands that hold their own language

at the centre of his palms

and they speak to me

sing to me

conversing with me

in tireless twists

moving me on a neat page of cursive inscription

until those proficient hands

bring me as close as one can be

to the soft poetry that flows from the lips

of the gods

when he gets home

and when he gets home
he will tell you
that the dust in your weary eyes
made him look elsewhere
for a twinkle that was once there

when he gets home
he will say to you
the webs on your scalp
made his fingers run through
the fresh curls of another
like the ones you used to have

when he gets home
he will tell you
that the silence between your teeth
had him out searching
for your missing laughter

when he gets home
he will say to you
that the wrinkles on your fingers
sent him to softer hands
like the way you used to brush his skin

when he gets home
he will tell you
that the limp his own body gave him
was of your doing
that a cure was elsewhere

when he gets home
reciting all the things
you no longer gave him
and the smell of all the places
he had found them
when he gets home
you’ll be long gone
finding all the things
he could no longer give you

Some Days, Other Days

On some days I grasp the soil that dresses
the bed where my father’s bones have long slept
Tiny doors I knock on
Begging for a minute of comfort
An embrace, a word, a guide
I pour jugs of my emptiness through the spaces between the earth’s grains
but his ears have long hardened

On other days I long
to crawl back into Mother’s gentle womb
where the walls are safe and
the waters bind my heart with nourishment
and leave my burdens on her knowing shoulders
but the years have left her frail
her head grey, her heart strained
and the womb a home I’ve outgrown

So I keep my days as they are
longing and lone
swallowed into a hard hole
where my heart’s salvation’s no more