I think the words were “thrilling” and “beautiful”—
which, come to think of it, are not even such impressive gifts:
you cannot preen your beaver-fur with oils squeezed from “beautiful,”
and thrilling, leather-padded, is not so soft or warm to touch.
Maybe what stung more was that beacon light “epistle”
flashing, nude and stark, against the hurried, half-chewed sky.
“Epistle” maps a constellation, sends a star by huntress bow,
and like a Cepheid, you pulse together:
a brilliant standard candle.
So while you glide, metatarsals touching
and swirl the clouds with ash and sky,
I will scrunch up, an inchworm arclet,
and chew on a stalk of corn.
I will burrow in and out of the ground,
feel prickled roots on prickled skin
and come up with language all over my hands,
words slipping off my lips.