How Delicious to Say It,


to allow it like hibiscus to wend over the tongue
where it opens at the gate, lending its red, unknowable
taste. What wonder the palate may embrace – in a flick
behind the teeth: loquacious, Liebchen, Schätzchen.
Let us praise the labium that shapes such syllables, and
parlay of their attendant assumptions like a shuttlecock
struck back and forth over its simple backyard net.
Let us not neglect, but laud the mature mouth ready
for more than a dollop, the spoonful of lip, loon,
April, billow, or some simple pronoun. No. It wants jouissance,
Dostoevsky, provocations heating the exchange, say
chipotles in the chocolate. Consider the uvular awakenings
of the day, the throat stretched to signify its pleasure and release.
Your name spun through the reel, wound up from the bass
of me. How I want to say it, and hear my own, again.

for Matthew

Francis, Vievee. “How Delicious to Say It,” in Forest Primeval. © 2016 by Vievee Francis. Published 2016 by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.

This poem was originally read in the Poetry Unbound episode “Vievee Francis — How Delicious to Say It.”