t h e c u p s a n d s p o o n s, t h e l e a v e s
A M Y H O L M A N
“No, I don’t mean boardroom French, I mean the cups and spoons, the leaves.” -- S.A.
What if I must rely on lip readers
and I speak languish instead of language?
Not the deaf who know the joint--
fingers spelling tired mouths--but the spies
who mostly betray and sometimes portray.
Or the northern spies, apples of deceit
both sweet and tart. Language is an art
and common ground, requiring sight and sound,
or context. Art is the curfew
on commonality, the part of languish
that lingers. I want more than to be merely
understood, like simply surviving, or
only on my own. I’d like to navigate uncertainty
in another tongue rather than say what I mean
to someone here who isn’t listening. Oh,
the luxury of me, untranslated, learning the slang
of someone else. Pass the sugar, read the tea.
Is future the fortune or present the opening
to pass through? I don’t think we change
even if we’re changeable--the glass half full
one day, half empty the next, but never the water
carrying the glass away. One day I like to ride out
into the city, the next hide out
at home. We are confined by who we are
more than what we say, even if the lip readers
read language on the day of languish, and tell.