Man and Woman without Words (For Justin)

Potential partnerships part like lips;

a wide angled mouth, lathering itself
in lethargy. The length of a tongue, only
surpassed by the by the sting of a word.

and a word is just a parting in itself -
a break in the mind, a caress of your
vocal cords; a coral stretch of breath
begging the listener to laugh;

or lie.

I find myself on the tail end of this page,
panicking - replaying unlived explanations.
Virginal situations that flow like the lines
on my palms - the lines that reach out
to take a hand

(a hand of a man
who shields himself in layers
of serious jokes, and humorous forthrightness)

layers so light that they flake off like
spider webs. Like moth wings buzzing,
the way that his eyes slash wide - the angle
of his mouth, the hair, felt tip brown on his
arms. His white striped t-shirt. Two dropping
figures standing at a window

where the venetian blinds fall like a sunset;
muted in this stagnant room.

On the tail end of this poem, the page
that fills with letters; letters making
love to words, and their children
are called whispering and wailing,
and I, mother, fold my hands under the
meaning of silence. Rethink the retreat
I had previously planned. Too quiet.

Cool. Hot foolishness. But just before the
day ended you said: "have a lovely ... "
moment? mood? memory? I was fascinated
with the way that your lips formed the words,
a goodbye at once desperate, and angered.

And the page? Polluted; a mouth soured, and spit
into. I want to take you in my hands and swallow
all of the painful moments, the awkwardness

of man
and woman
without words.