You tell us your language is dying
and savor its childhood syllables
like bites of a plum so sweet
I want to sneak one from the sack

you carry everywhere. But who
can heft such a world? The breaths
between words smell of oceans
tossing seafoam into bright air.

It makes a night move, a lost
tongue, slinking off with its trunk
of idioms and tales, a tenant
a step ahead of marshalls

or a lover splitting for LA
and taking the best records.
Worse, it's a lover who stays
and dies in sleep, the last to know

how hard you laughed once,
traveling, wordless, jaw-sore,
spent, and slurred-cogent
only in each other's ears.