Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Lost Language

When I gave myself to him,
It was the perfect rhyme of couplets.
He: the smack of consonants against teeth and lips;
And I was all the vowels in long sighs and high-pitched pleasure.
The words we formed now buzz in the silence,
Almost audible in this empty apartment, humming me to sleep.
A lost tongue never to be spoken again -
No matter how many tongues of how many lovers
Touch so lightly this skin again
And drive from this vacant throat a groan.
It isn't the same. Lost is that sudden breathlessness
Of not knowing what to expect.
And a different sound is added:
A rising inflection like a question,
'Is this the one? Is this the magic again? '
And another sound muffled,
A holding back, waiting for disappointment,
Fighting against letting myself be taken,
Remembering the pain of losing that private language.

Written May 1978


  1. I so relate to this poem. I so know these feelings. So well expressed, Lillian!

  2. Consonants and vowels of muffled magic
    let me hum and tongue a new rhyme,
    a language not so lost
    on a pain not so private.

  3. Lovely work
    A story well told
    I enjoy yr work and will return