Borrowed Words: by Bonnie McClellan

BORROWED WORDS

Adam to Eve, later in life,
after babel’s tower fell,
began his speech with borrowed words:
“Oh, my love!”
What world would I not give now
for that eternal, ancient fantasy:
“A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou!”
In the shade of Kunitz’ VERY TREE,
the gentle spark released beneath
lithe pressure of your palm
above my heart
which would break
its fragile net of bone to rest
that narrow distance
closer to your flesh.
Now distracted by quick thoughts
of two french words: “chair” for flesh and “peau” for skin.
The first implying something
more animal/essential; the second softer,
more sensual than elemental:
“chair de ma chair.”
“os de mon os.”
ossature de ma vie.
bone network, calcite frame.
White
white,
like bread,
like wine;
in my bones singing:
“sang de mon sang”
with each red cell
new marrow-minted.