When you place your mouth
to my ear
how does the ocean know
In your darkness I find teeth.
Blessings of the meek-throated.
A ribbed tunnel. Codicil.
Your tongue scrawls: too late,
the unsaid nerve-sparked and
dilated too late
And my skin replies: with
lightning all strikes
count to each its charge
Even your bones remember what you’ve long discarded.
This field of stone grows beyond sight.
In our house the tang of burnt sugars.
You say I love you in four languages I do not speak,
but never in the one I claim.
We light fires with stolen paper.
Douse them with stored rain.
Fragmented memories fill our cupboards.
Did I once know you?
Take these words from me.
Bury them in daylight.
Robert Okaji lives in Texas. He is the author of If Your Matter Could Reform (Dink Press, 2015) and From Every Moment a Second (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Posit, Panoply, Otoliths, Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, West Texas Review, La Presa, and elsewhere.