When my body speaks to your body

This poem is writ­ten with apo­lo­gies and thanks to e.e. cum­mings and Claire Askew. e.e. cum­mings wrote a poem called i like my body, which is one of the best poems I know. Claire Askew wrote a poem called When the Heart Speaks to the Body It Says, which is a beau­ti­ful poem and avail­able in her highly recom­men­ded col­lec­tion The Mer­maid and the Sail­ors (also her Twit­ter handle is @OneNightStanzas, so, y’know, all the reas­ons). That poem wasn’t a spe­cific influ­ence on this one, but I’ve had that title rat­tling around my head for months, so it came out in poetry. Thanks, Claire Askew.


It is cross-posted on Tumblr if Tumblr is your thing.


Also, thank you to the sub­ject of this poem. The naughty bits have been removed.



my body speaks to
your body -
not through my mouth
though my mouth speaks to
your mouth, and is coy
or bold and
always irrev­er­ent -
my body speaks to
your body
with legs and arms
rhym­ing muscles with bones
eyes with ears
breasts with backs
because my body speaks
to your body, and shares
its every pink inch of skin,
my fin­gers make couplets and my
fin­ger­nails blank verse
with your body,
my body speaks and argues,
whis­pers and pleads and plans
with your body,
and some­times
it speaks in Rus­sian and then
моё тело говорит с твоим телом;


your neigh­bours
though they peek over garden walls
and thread micro­phones under pot­plants
can­not hear us when
the talk of our bod­ies
drifts through the night
comes to rest in bed
and then while
our droswy pil­lows talk pil­lowtalk
we sleep entwined
safe in the atlonglast silence
of our bodies.

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