I can’t recall the word for you
but you recall the name for it all—
the -ologies and -isms,
the men who got them started.
You invite me
in to borrow a book on women
on words on where we could look
in to decipher and offer me a water-stained
cup full of Pinot Something, reflecting one-sided
conversation on how I’m trying to evolve,
how you completely understand despite your geno? pheno?
logical-socially-constructed-identity as male.
There once was
a girl who felt hot
and wanted the talking to stop.
She followed him in,
wide-eyed to the sin
he felt needed to cushion with thought.
I longed to confess
a new language
of stilted syllables
synonyms that gave way to
antonyms that gave way to
sound that gave way to silence.
True to my body
as object and subject
reflected and bound.
These places I squeeze my tongue
give up no sweat, salt, juice
how forgetful the intellect is of the body:
this chtolnic dripping
dislodged, from where
words cannot touch. Chtolnic!
I say it. You stop. Pause. Ask me What?
What a good conversation.
You tell (who?)
and lean into move towards where speech finally stops.
Webster, 23, lives in Boone. [ firstname.lastname@example.org