What is a poem
I often send you words, wrapped clumsily in feeling, like gifts from a child to their first love. And I wonder if they are ever enough. Can words ever replace a touch, a caress, a meeting of the eyes, a brush of the lips? Can words ever replace the warmth of another body? My words are but veneer, a gaudy coat on things that churn and roil inside like an animal caged. If only I could show you, without words, without signs, without symbols. If only I could talk to you mouth-to-mouth, so that when you breathe out, I breathe in. So that where you end, I begin.
My prose is clumsy, it stumbles and falls often. There is little beauty in these words, except for the kind you impart when you alight like a muse, like my own Maya, my Calliope. What is a poem but the sound of your laughter or when you sigh in contentment or in desire. What is a poem but the way in which your voice swells with love. What is a poem but your muted whisper as you fall asleep. Poetry is not in my words, it is in between the lashes of your eyes, the webs of your fingers and every strand of your hair.
Poetry is your language, it was never mine. All I’ve done is borrow it from you.