"I’ll see you later?" asks his voice, a husk
of heavy morning languor on his throat,
the question not forthright as bed sheet musk
by which I was not smitten, though it smote.
Myself, I do not answer with a word,
but bend my neck to him and nod my head,
an answer steeped in honesty, immured
in silent fleshly faith, in false words’ stead.
But really, can I claim more honesty,
retreating from uncertain words, and lies,
when even now I write pert poetry
that, more than any lie, must be devised?
Well, no. We’re both bilingual, he and I.
Or even more than that: we switch between
the silent and the voiced, both truth and lie.
Can we ourselves know all of what we mean?
A word is truth in mouth, but lie in ear,
for what one says, the other does not hear.