That’s a moorhen, that’s a coot-
see, I’m learning, Joe.
I didn’t know
the names I find so strange in my mouth,
tasting them like foreign spice, like the dates
I sampled
to bring home to you,
my love.
They roll around my tinted tongue,
part my west-dark smile, a middle between strangereaching you, for
kind purveyors.
Stone my language.
These sounds too, I would carry back to you.
I had a while to
kindle gorgeous wordfire in my lungs to
heat my far-grasped heart’s foreign beats
out across the seas.

I return to write,
to spill into this sticking silence the sentences that
even after all these months
still cling unsounded to the roof of my mouth,
and even now you still me like a semicolon;
or not so?
I don’t know, Joe. I ceded to the bruising like a fruit;
dug myself into the sand
and burst unheard.
So this a here, this is a now-
you lent me once your greatest beat,
so how can I bleat
my skin to bark,
when the roots will never grow hard?