The Marriage of Words (companion poems)

The Marriage of Words

Vowel to vowel
and consonant to consonant
you have vowed to swell
your breasts like peacocks
in cold rain,
in numbing sun.
Tumble lovingly
over each other’s
syllables and sounds.
Tongue your r’s and l’s.
Click-clack your k
against his j
against his i-n-g.
Explore yourselves
in Polish
in Mandarin and Spanish.
Soak up the pulp
of a thousand pages.
Stay alive
by going with the night.

The Marriage of Words

Let’s revisit them, before
      the cow and boy became one,

the arm needed its own chair,
      and the ear, its own muff.

Before we wondered about bread and land,
      found cakes in a cup or pan.

Even before the wife was married to her house,
and the master made pieces, work, and minds.

Was there really a weight we could be over
      or an up in our shake? 

Did we need proof of water or fire,    
      bullet or child? 

Let’s go back before the marriages began,
to when bride and groom stood side by side
      and the newly were not quite wed,

when moon and light had not fused
and night could not fall, back
to when the stairs had no case

and the end didn’t need its own week.

John Davis and Kelli Russell Agodon

John ( and Kelli ( have been emailing poems back and forth to each other for many years now.  They respond to each other’s poems with a poem of their own.

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