i have written your words on my skin
to hold while i learn to speak you.
shape my tongue and breath around names
that ache with the smell of you,
murmur exhaled ripples
along my palate
across your pebble bed back
to the edge of sandy places
where your forest being
crowds the shore.
i have written what the birds sing
and the shape of morning leaves
in letters and ink on my skin
to hold them close
until i learn
to speak you.