Poem After Hikmet
(published in Mobius and Voice Lessons)
I didn’t know I loved the word greif, how it fills my mouth
like a breeze clearing out things I didn’t know were there.
I love the other words for happiness, particularly
Blues, trains, howl.
I didn’t know I loved Orion. I want to wear his belt like a tattoo.
I don’t love that the sky never wears the same face
more than once in a lifetime.
I didn’t know I loved linebreaks, how I hold my breath,
the resolution of the image suspended in space, its secrets safe.
I didn’t know I loved secrets, the stony weight of them in my mouth.
I didn’t know I loved my tongue. I use to think it was a liar. My own tongue!
I didn’t know I loved ampersand, its lush curve reminding me of what Zbigniew Herbert said
“Life is like knitting, one has to attach the old thread to the new.”
I didn’t know I loved the long dash, that cunning bridge between said and unsaid.
I didn’t know I loved ellipses, how I can escape being trampled by the full weight
of my poet’s language.
I love poems & I do not love poems.
I love water & I do not love water.
I love stones that are flat & wide, the way they demand nothing from the hollow of my palm,
how they sometimes fall from my mouth, erupting.