The Language of Love

from by Jill Battson

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The Language of Love

for Mike and Sergey

Language rolls off my tongue like a port city’s ancient grand hotel
or bronzed roses in a rolled-sleeve snowscape
naked as a painter’s muse, a rush of purple flesh tones and black
my memories target the small points of affection
framed in a constant shifting landscape across America
as you shape my history
a wind blown gorge edge wears a leather wedding kilt
fetish dark corners and the crisp cold of a soon-coming Canada
is sharp and poignant as a summer-hot sidewalk kiss
or wind across the salt drenched plain burning my feet electric

and you

finding the prize in an unexpected easter egg hunt of love, campus coloured
when rain-slick black pavements reflect the cast of pale skin
I am struck by a loss and gain in equal measure
a trepidation soothed by beautiful manners and kind gestures
spray of baby’s breath and roses, red and blood red green
open candidness a balm on turbulent tongue, emotional disquiet
my feet rolling pebbles over a clacking grey beach, green water
heaviness of head caves my chest, a trust, a love, thoughts direct to my heart

and together

union cast from the unknown, a cultural diversity of learning
sweet conclusion of skin that belongs in the hands of the beloved
to press shoulders against challenge, to love beyond difference
silver emulsive second when an apex soothes a static flash
and two men held in my soul, the united force of love and respect
together: this means everything in the language of the world


from gratitude songs, released June 17, 2013



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Jill Battson Toronto, Ontario

Jill Battson is an interdisciplinary poet. She has written several plays as well as the libretti for two operas and produced an electro acoustic sound art project. Dark Star Requiem, for which she wrote the libretto, premiered at Toronto’s Luminato Festival in 2010 and was published in book form. Her new collection, The Ecstatic Torture of Gratitude, was recently published by Guernica Editions ... more

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