Pears and honey—
des poires et de miel—
sweetness that transcends
a language meant to know in the bones
as I know in my bones.
When is a glance not a glance,
but a living history, a hand to the cheek,
viens ici, the crust of a bread
cracking the family tree? Salt.
No salt. I can afford to keep you,
or I can’t.
Let’s have some sugar.
Let me taste from your lips
the things we do not say.
I wear a green dress.
You see my legs through the silk.
They are not frightened, they are
one, two, strong, and standing
in front of you—a dare, not
Write me a letter en français, peut-être
en anglais, it does not matter. I want
to feel each stroke of your pen
as if a caress.
Des poires et de miel under glass.
An antique table and Mozart in the courtyard—
a window so high, we don’t know
if it’s someone playing,
or an old-fashioned phonograph.
Gentle the pins from my hair,
your hand finds the back of my neck.
A sweet kiss, another crust of bread.
Let’s stir our coffee and grow old.
Previously published in Spoon River Poetry Review, 2009