E S L
Since we parted by consensus,
you and I have passed many noons
in politest conversation,
in phrases not native to us.
Our mother tongue––the language
known first-hand even to Shakespeare
before I.Q. and time’s passage
so aptly circumcised the ear––
is all gesture and mew and trill.
Before our destinies were clear
our signals blazed atop a hill,
or like honey bees in the brain
they murmured as we sipped our wine.
So forgive us if we falter,
slipping back into the culture
of tender eyes and lips and hugs,
the not quite forgotten gutturals
of grunts and snarls, slant smiles and shrugs.