How delicious to say it,
to allow it like hibiscus to wend over the tongue
where it opens at the gate, lending its red, unknowable
taste. What wonder the palate may embrace – in a flick
behind the teeth: loquacious, “liepschen, liepschen.”
Let us praise the labium that shapes such syllables, and
parlay of their attendant assumptions like a shuttlecock
struck back and forth over its simple backyard net.
Let us not neglect, but laud the mature mouth ready
for more than a dollop, the spoonful of lip, loon,
April, billow, or some simple pronoun. No. It wants jouissance,
Dostoevsky, provocations heating the exchange, say
chipotles in the chocolate. Consider the uvular awakenings
of the day, the throat stretched to signify its pleasure and release.
Your name spun through the wind-box, whipped up from the bass
of me. How I want to say it, and hear my own, again.
BY VIEVEE FRANCIS
Vievee Francis is the author of two poetry collections, Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University, 2006) and Horse in the Dark (Northwestern Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies including, Best American Poetry 2010 among others. Work is forthcoming in Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. She was the recipient of a 2009 Rona Jaffe Award and a 2010 Kresge Artist Fellowship. A Cave Canem Fellow, she is currently an Associate Editor for Callaloo.