O My Silence



you saw me only,

kept separate from every other thing— 

face flashing in the mirror,

the red handkerchief.

Secret lover.  I’d shut the door, lean back against it and

give myself to you.  Clasping my body

to your deep skin, you honored it,

my body,

its separate death.  

I couldn’t wait to return to you.

Everything else was desire

and you

you were the absence

of desire.


I drank.

Every cell in my body like bread, sponging

your juice.

Sometimes, I was ashamed to be so richly satisfied

with nothing.

This was before language moved into you

or was it you who entered my words,

slipped through the door as I shut it, wanting

to keep you inside but also

give you away. 

You disappeared

and reappear now

only when I speak, separate one word

from the next,

standing beside me whenever

I part my lips—always

we meet in public now.

How long since you’ve gazed upon my nakedness.

How long since you’ve taken me

fully disrobed and dark

into your mouth.