“This onion tastes like an apple,” she says, slipping the ivory silk robe off her shoulders and letting it fall to the floor in a crumpled accordian of forgotten. Her shoulders, marred now only by the thin strap of a matching camisole, rise like cream.

“Give me a definition of the sea,” I implore, eyes hot with the accumulation of several days of low-grade fever, made warmer still by the low shade of lamplight.

La mer?” she asks softly, curling up next to me.

Oui,” I sigh.


When asked to draw the ocean, The Child reaches for the medium blue crayon. The Older Child, one more studied, may accentuate the depth of this with dark blue and light blue crayons. The Artist, who is most certainly still a child, will finish with a crest of white foam, allowing the surface the movement it most deeply desires.


“Is the synonym for ocean sea?” I ask.

The sin of synonym: never the same; always More or Less.

The synonym for your name is darling. More. Is dearest. More. Is dove.

I define us by the rising tides. By the siren of longing from which I can’t shake free when I leave your shore. By the salt etched on my tongue after we make love, always in the pattern of waves.


But, when asked to draw the sea, The Poet reaches for a particular taste of green. The green that salt leaves on copper. The green that blemishes brass. The green the ditches make when they’re dug from below, born up from a hot and hungry core.

The co-sin of synonym: acid washed jeans.


Vidalia. Valhalla. A holler.

Which is?

The tangent of synonym, the layers:

One mountain behind us. One in front. Then it comes in sheets. With a thick, hard down beat. Chunks of rain. Full cement blocks of rain. Rain I could lock my chains to when the creek runs high of it.

This rain, it whistles my every tune:

Lonely piece of wood
in my creek bed, why
are you crying? What
have you fled?


I’m sorry for the flood, ma colombe. But, you see, I’ve never made waves when opening my mouth before.