This foreign land has rendered me bestial,
little better than an animal,
for I have no real access to your language.
Only words for ‘yes’ and ‘good’ and ‘please’
so that you must watch as I grunt and point
But you are gracious, you bear the weight of
language for two—
I am made civilized by your tongue,
though it too soon tires of syllables
rare and strange.
Frequent pauses follow,
staccato moments full of hand gestures, glances,
and uncomfortable laughs.
And soon there is nothing left
for us, but to turn slowly,
to slip from our chairs and crawl onto elbows and knees.
To grow close to the earth as we try to be
together in our strangeness.
There, we find something
tucked between us.
Intimacy, like a cat, slides from that wordless space.
It arches and growls.
We coax her on with coos and purrs
until our hands form a bridge for her to walk across.
Our embrace making
corners for her to cuddle into.
Like her, we grow kittenish, and
free of language.
We plunge our hands into our hearts.
We set our tongues to other uses.
No lying left,
no parsing of syllables.
There is an honesty in our bodies,
as we learn to trust the way only animals can,
accepting the touch, the smile,
the warm sensation of that which exists
when we join.