I am searching for another word
to describe what happens in the chest,
another word for the peony
and the motionless explosion
of its blossoming.
I require another word for musk
and for the gutted breath, for what love is,
whether you are stroking a woman's
peach fuzz or the wild curve of
the planet at sunset, another word
for the stain the sun leaves on emptiness,
an edible vibration on the tongue, a
sound not unlike pollen-glutted bees,
how eyes become lips for the soul.
I seek another word for the womb
and the luscious darkness of 3 A.M.
I seek a syllable denoting 'just this,'
the refulgence of now, and how I am
a multitude when I am alone. I seek
another name for melting, no louder
than a sudden inhalation, a coyote growl,
the midnight effluvium of frozen swamps,
a syllable for the sweet decay in a late
September garden, fetor of crisp consent
in wounded apples releasing their juice,
a spell for what happens in frosted gourds,
sobriquet for a gaze at the moment
of death, susurration for the way
light sheathes in darkness, yet no more
mysterious than 'cocoon,' or 'amaranth,'
a kernel of silence wrapped in thinnest chaff,
sibilance of She-tongue cultivated
like a grain for eight thousand years,
then brewed into the title of my ancestor.
I seek a homophone for 'hearth.' I want
a garden in my throat. Let this tongue
be a green stem groping the thunder
of the harvest moon, or a mushroom
risen from infernal loam. I want a word
that means both 'keening' and 'silence.'
It must contain the echo of breaking.
When it strikes against the embryonic
hollow of an ear, that unborn conch of
listening inside listening, nothing more
need be spoken; for such a word is the nectar
of fermented loss, perfected by yearning,
the last sound of this poem, at which I,
my dear, am distilled into your teardrop.