Desire is lithe, and transient as a phoneme.
Syllable to syllable, we follow
to steady against the undertow
while we wade out to grasp
that which is just beyond our grasp,
unnamable and alluring abluvion,
floating there like a spar.
Some of us will weigh ourselves down
with so many words,
but even as we go down to the grave,
these words will make our song.
And if we drink but do not drown,
we will carry them back
to build what might remain.
Fruits from this maple revolve their oars
in the rippling
Samara, Pliny called the seed of the elm in his natural history.
Samara: a word brought back from Gaul
from the first caesar’s legions who wintered at the town
named for the bridge over that river
named for summer or tranquilty,
the roots of which differ only in the way
lips part for one, pucker for the other.
Samara: now any winged tree fruit.
This seed, an embryo in the endosperm,
baby in a bassinet,
no, a picnic basket,
like Moses in the papyrus basket
has a means of travel, of survival.
From the tree, these capsules
held twain by thin green skin—
thus mirrored wings, these
Choruses of angels in hanging cloisters,
fall but do not fall.
A good current sends them
rowing out of shadow
spinning into sunlight.
that in the beginning was the word;
that desire awoke the word,
always awakes the word;
and that then the spirit
moved upon the waters like a snake.
the Upanishad, which says
our essence is in our speech;
the saint who says
that God has no body but ours,
no voice but ours.
what greater vocation have we
than to sing
hymns to our gods ourselves?
I believe in the concatenation
in the small justice of a cenotaph
like a Gallic word on Roman tongues
and that the grave is shaped like a door;
the primal seed desire has been planted in me.
I yield my body as a vault of grace.
When not researching any particular topic or writing, L.D. Bohn enjoys running with her Great American Shelter Dog, Leia Rey. She is currently working on her mental health counseling degree in preparation for licensure. She is reading the poetry of Natasha Trethewey and a review of research on corporal punishment. Her content tends to come from her engagement with social issues or non-fiction texts while her form and language are inspired by works of literature and art. She has been published in print and online journals and in The Southern Poetry Anthology: Tennessee.