Language of Love

There were distinctive
dips and shivers
in the various foliage,
almost cadenced in the way  
that once made him invent  
Now the boss could say  
and mean something  
like “I’ll pinch.”
By repeating the gesture exactly  
the woman awakened
an excited suspicion
in the infant.
When he awakened
she was just returning from  
one of her little trips.
It’s common to confuse
the distance
with flirtation:
that expectant solemnity  
which seems to invite a kiss.
He stroked her carapace
with his claw.
They had developed a code
in which each word appeared to refer  
to some abdicated function.
Thus, in a department store,  
Petite Impressions might neighbor  
Town Square.
But he exaggerated it
by mincing
words like “micturition,”  
setting scenes
in which the dainty lover  
would pretend to leave.
Was it sadness or fear?
He still wasn’t back.
The act of identification,
she recognized,
was always a pleasure,
but this lasting difference  
between sense and recognition  
made her unhappy
or afraid.
Once she was rewarded  
by the beams
of headlights flitting  
in play.
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