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Ode

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How glorious
is this strange muscle in my mouth.
Child’s tease, lips’ balm, baton of speech
unless it’s tied.

What’s forgotten is on the tip.
Sides slip out the truth. The root
is how far a kiss can go.

One can lose it when guilty.
Be lashed by another’s.
Feel it twisting over rooky woods and wordless
hear it swinging in a bell, sliding through a groove

or placed firmly in a cheek. Beware it
should be held most often for most often
a forked one has no friend.

Source: Poetry (November 2011)

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

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Ode

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