sky pours down
wallow and suck
your cold seeps
greedy for marrow
horned spiked grinder
of holdfast, homescar
fine grains, lost bearings
soft underparts fall open
inkwater fills from dark to light
worm-forms writhe at the hot vents
ten thousand deep
worlds and stars
for Luljeta Leshanaku
The deaf man makes words with his hands,
each hard and straight as a varnished bench,
builds sentences the way men build clocks
or bicycles, loving and exact.
Meaning is real, he says, it hangs in the air
and holds its shape.
Each word depends for its life upon its brother.
Today I thought of you
in the same breath.
For you, too, words are hard-won.
They taste of mineral rain, of loneliness, of smoke.
Stubborn, they refuse to yield.
they embed themselves in my body.