The word on his mouth – verdigris –
a deep saturation, a wetness on his lips,
a poison on his tongue, a profile bronzed
by the sunlight, and how many suns,
how many moons, how many years
will it take for him to say the word
again, to rise like a coin from the river;
how long for him to turn and turn
and turn until he is finally face up,
facing me? The taste in my mouth,
copper, not blood (that is nickel.)
I wash my mouth out with soap.
I scrub my linens in the brass basin.
The oxides are everywhere; with a
word like that on a man's mouth as he
exhales in swarms around me, well, there's
only so many minutes inside a mint green
blade, only so many years upon years
– I can see it: a woman showing off a
ring of resin and rugged silver he bought
for her as I curdle in the loam underneath
seafoam gravestone – that I feel this body
my soul can survive.