“it shouldn’t have to be this hard” (terroir)

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
—e.e. cummings

you speak to me in declarative sentences
as if words can shape the world
as if words can reshape the world

you take it into your mouth
a tongue like sandpaper
to polish everything beautiful

cooperative as river stones
patient as water rendering rock smooth

you’ll hear nothing of sticks stones and broken bones
because you have so much invested in the power of language
books degrees and hours alone with Faulkner Foucault and wine

we talk in circles like english majors gods or sorcerers
rounding up everything we can imagine about fairness
in a world that refuses to be fair or even a river stone

what if i told you i will love you forever
is that the same thing as me loving you forever

should we shout over each other or simply repeat ourselves
until this fermenting thing becomes something entirely different
a burnished stone spit against the rising tide drowning us

or would we be better off holding hands and chanting incantations
as we circumnavigate the globe with the conviction of a river
the sort of determination that makes a parent’s bones shutter

you speak to me in declarative sentences
a tongue like sandpaper to polish everything beautiful

spent we ask for silence like a glass of Cabernet breathing
space to be filled with kissing spooning feet against feet
and the faint whisper of our inhaling exhaling just so

—P.L. Thomas

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