Let the tea draw till it recalls who we love.
Some nook in a corner of your mouth
must hold the essence of bergamot.
We're forever being done in
tripping over our tongues
(that 's' of his that feeds
my need to sop him up).
And you’re so palatal, so on the edge…
a likeness buried under your wisdom teeth.
The god of phonology would never have grown
had the meaning not sprayed its sperm
over the howls.
My vocal cords are become straps
for this endless wreckage.
The 'g' will ring the little bell of my glottis
like a runaway train we hoped would stop.
And your name
cleaved to my palate,
It’s not easy to say earl grey
Bonjour monsieur, I would like an earl grey.
But what I’m after
now that just can’t be said.
Translation by Keith Payne