Taylor Graham

Rookie (Pasadena, CA)

Death The Linguist - Poem by Taylor Graham

I’m feeling light-headed dreamy
when he calls me
Querida, so I hardly wonder
how he can do that “d” that sounds
like “th” not quite touching
behind the teeth
when he hasn’t even got a tongue.
Breeze as soft as blue breath
fading into whisper, a sigh
that rises from below the sternum,
what might be the solar plexus
if he had an ounce of flesh.
He speaks of Sehnsucht for a land
I’ve never visited and always
wished to go, or perhaps
some place I once was and somehow
got broken off from,
a place where all languages
are fluent and all genders agree.
And now he’s stringing sounds
I’m almost gone enough
to understand. Maybe they mean
“the hoisin sauce is such
a bargain” in Vietnamese or
“blue tiles of the Lion Gate”
in an ancient Moorish dialect.
It doesn’t matter.
I close my eyes and open
my lips to let the tongue
float free.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 23, 2010

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