I can say I loosen, which also means I forgive, and I can say he is believing or she is writing though I don’t know whether she writes a list of her father’s virtues, or directions for boiling custard, or a letter to her mother describing how craggy light shadows these mountains at dusk. My lover asks me to say I love you, but I have studied only to lesson three. I don’t know how to say I love you, so I say a heart speaks truth. Next week I will be able to say a sister has words and childrenhear a kingdom. They will imagine trumpets, drums, clattering hoofbeats, a crier to announce their arrival, the hush of velvet as he bows. Now I say you hear a heart because I cannot say I will kiss you unless I skip ahead, learn complicated inflections. I’m confident our text will reveal conjugations of kiss, for Judas kissed Jesus at least once, and I recall Paul urging us to greet one another with a holy kiss. That’s not the kiss I want. I want a nuzzle, a snuggle, a smooch. I can say I desire or I wish. I am hunting for the verb to smooch but find it nowhere. Has anyone ever smooched you in Koine Greek? Has anyone ever said heaven is kissinga sea or earth is kissing glory? I can say heaven is knowing earth, which I imagine requires more than one kiss. [End Page 576] In Koine Greek you are loosening a kingdom, I hear a house of hearts, we are writingheaven, where we will awaken to loosen our limbs, to proclaim O glorious verb! [End Page 577]
Lynn Domina is the author of two collections of poetry, Corporal Works and Framed in Silence, and the editor of a collection of essays, Poets on the Psalms. Her poetry appears in New England Review, The Gettysburg Review, and The Paterson Literary Review. She lives in the western Catskill region of New York.