In Dead Languages

April 19, 2011
Alio mundi,
I am smart enough
to see when sparks
are flying.
I am smart enough
to only swear in
dead languages,
like Latin,
which I speak.
Alio mundi,
unfortunately for me,
you understand
my foreign foul mouth,
and you laugh
until I crack up, too,
and have to wrap my arms
around my chest
to keep it from
exploding.
Ergo scio
te amo.

In another universe,
I am beautiful,
so much so that
my smile lights up
your face.
You want the things
I can give,
and I will give them,
because I know
you won’t take it
and run.

In another universe,
we are in love.
We talk for hours,
you, softly playing piano
with your mouth
hanging just slightly
open,
as though you are about
to speak,
my eyes just barely
open,
as if I were to read
the poems I am
writing on the ceiling.

In another universe,
your fingers pause,
mid-chord.
You wrote something;
you want me to hear it.
And I do hear it--
I hear everything
inside you, spilling out
through your fingers
and onto the ivory keys
in dissonant chords
that end in sultry
harmony--
so I cry;
not only because it is
beautiful,
or that you are
beautiful,
or that I love you more
than anything,
but because your
heart was pounded out
upon the piano’s keys,
and it sounded
just like mine.
Lorem uno.

In another universe,
you are puzzled
but comforting,
leaving your home
on the piano bench,
sweeping me
into your arms,
fingers working
into my hair,
Latin croons caressing
my heart.

In another universe,
I am trying and trying
to get the right words,
but all I can say is
I love you.
Te amo. Te amo.
I love you.
When what I should explain
is that your song
took my broken self
and put me back
together.
That I’m happier,
happier than I
have ever been
or will ever be.
Posuisti me totum.

In another universe,
I find the courage
to whisper the words
I traced on the ceiling,
picked out like stars
shining so brightly
that they blind me.
Tu clarior omnia.
You are moved--
you think it’s perfect,
that I’m perfect,
and we kiss beneath
the halo of stars that
shine so brightly
surely even someone
in a different universe
could see them.
Heaven whirls around us
as rain pounds
the metal roof.

Sed.
But.

We are not in
that universe.
We can’t speak
Latin.
We are here,
both wishing for people
we can never have.
I am not beautiful
in the least.
We are in love--
but not with each other,
because we’re opposite
but like the same things.

Here,
you do not write me
songs that sound like
your name’s whispered
wish upon my lips.

Here, in hoc mundo,
only I can see
the stars that shine so
brightly
from that other place.
Just little glimmers--
I see them in your smile,
hear my heartbeat
in your voice.
But you see
nothing.
Vides nihil.

Here,
you still write songs,
and I still write poetry.
But I will never hear
those songs,
and you will never see
what I picked out in stars,
my pieces of heaven.
I can never, ever tell you
the things that take me,
break me,
make me cry,
because I’m trying
to put myself back together
like one smile from you
did in that
other universe.

In hoc mundo,
I seal up the cracks,
wrap myself with
sticky lies and duct tape
so maybe--
just maybe--
I can be strong
the way I was
in that other universe.
Etsi desidero,
quamvis sis
adfligentes cor meum,
adhuc amo te.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

CarolynQ said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 10:18 am
You stole my breath. With words I know and don't know, and perfected a masterpiece. I don't know what to say other than I don't have the words to tell you how good this is and how much I enjoyed reading this.
 
junebug18 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm
:D Thank you. I appreciate it. 
 
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