In Arabic, all love songs sung
By men are sung to men. And hung
Too many times from the rafters,
The word for towel: بشكير — never
Quite short enough for the disarray
Of the body’s mistakes. To say
Dreaming in American Sign Language
Put your index to your temple
And curl, not so hard to manage
The repeated tendons of the hand.
The mandarin poet with official words
Of love, skin lit like black woods,
Official, absolute space renounced
In the heart, makes space with poem
In mind. Let us play this new game.
Hysteria, hysterectomy. Not his, not
His but hers. And having said this,
I take you as you are. Forever and far,
In this difficult language of the world.