I fell in love twice at the same time

& every new line traces back to you

in the love-language you taught me:

white elephants and animal kingdoms.


You wouldn't let me leave

without you—now every word drips you.


You, who taught me to leave only dioxide behind

because that's all they needed

that's all you could give me:

want-formed carbon.


I knew the only way out was to lose language.


I left consonants splintered between the sheets of tangled boys

who never learned the language

hidden in my paintings—


I left shards of vowels in bars & restaurants

broken on floors before anyone could notice

the detail in my brushstroke—


Interjections fermented


Conjunctions distilled in barrels of wheat and rye


I ignited a bowl packed with prepositions

and watched it burn

into, over, and around.


I lined my sharpest, heart-hungry adverbs

on residue stained mirrors—

a farewell march for someone else's numb


I scattered noun stained beer bottles

on nightstands & side tables—

keepsakes for my conquests


Verbs echoed in rooms & down bedposts—

contracting in waves of notched memories

soon to be forgotten


I splattered adjectives

on walls, shower curtains, and car upholstery—

DNA drawings: “I was here”


& the pronouns all returned to their anaphoras

except for you—

you wouldn't let me unlearn you.


You found me after 17,300 years—

the Aurochs couldn't keep you out.


Stripped of my words, naked to my sounds


white elephants and animal kingdoms.


But you didn't recognize my silent language

you had forgotten the words of my cave

You had lost the sound to my breath.