Lexicon

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.