To wrap my mouth around yours and tongue your tongue, that’s what I’m after. Slip your syllables around like Aeon Flux would, inserting encrypted scrolls into moveable teeth, pockets where roots write themselves. I’ll ignore your chipped molars and canker sores, for I adore the taste offered by antiquated acquaintances, the aroma of primitive odors, of all that’s Indo-- it’s romantic, really, such touch and go, this dance between stretched flesh that snails weave when out of their shells, entwined. Suffice your suffix with its -mus ending because it ends with us, because it means ‘we’, because it drips with how we used to be
An Elegy for Mojave
Now, all that water the Colorado gushes no longer blushes with sediment, due to the dam.
What is the word for green? Not envy, not for those living along the serpentine bank.
Elderly men mumble as motor boats traverse the current; untaught to not talk in mothertongue.
Meandering here, as a rattle snake banters about when you get near, then all of a sudden, quiet—
I see how deep this vein of river’s been cut. I’ve had so many dreams snapped up. Remember? Hardly, fossils
fail feathers and scales; their colors once vibrant and separate now all run ruddy.
Your days there are fewer than the notches used in your father’s belt; that lean leather strip pulled out to clap against your backside and knock out the fairy dust, the horseplay, ballet twirls you must make because westerly winds so move you; he plays doctor, performing the Heimlich maneuver which stings your throat with cries and cough-ups of never again touching your sister’s My Little Ponies, the lies, because you did and he wrings you like those white knuckles of his around his buckle. And that snap of his snapping catches you by surprise every time. You know why rabbits run and hide when the dog’s let loose outside. You wish upon the nebulae of bruises left behind that you would disappear or die, unaware that your years are dissolving rapidly around you like the bubbles bursting open from a rabid dog’s face; his fate is written in foam. Before you know it, you’ll be bidding him goodbye .
-- Aaron DeLee’s previous work has appeared in Interrobang, Found Poetry Review, OVS Magazine, and various other journals. His work has also been commissioned, set to music and performed by a Chicago opera troupe, VOX3.