An Anglophone

11/22/2010 § Leave a comment

to love a woman’s body
the way cigarettes turn to smoke:

excavate from the lips and the cunt
some veracity of life.

Twelve, in
and between languages: skin
like tangerine—like the school bus.
My mother’s face
across the dusted windowpane
like a fast-fading photograph.

tabula rasa, or blank slate:
to be absolved the way
winter covers its bareness.

Suburban Langley,
night sky from the attic window
full of orphaned stars.
Even the familiar lights belonged
to strange constellations
and under them

the world, bereft of consonants—
a primeval world; an idiot’s world.

but here—mulch-like pulps of dirt, snow and leaves.

Five families, four years.
Rubber Soul, Abbey Road,
and the first lines of Keat’s Endymion—

and suddenly I’m an Anglophone:
hello—good bye—I love you—
cooped up in the perplexing distance
of language not my own.

To be touched
the way moonlight transfigures our shadows;

I no longer dream
in my childhood’s language;

to wait the way
a wind-broken umbrella waits by the road—

sont des mots qui
vont très bien ensemble
très bien ensemble

(Winter 2010)


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