Sestina: Tin Can Call

this translation

The summer I turned sixteen, I learned
the burning that happens when contact
is made: flesh and mouths, a new kind of touch.
Kids really, trying to smash ourselves together,
atoms mingling, heeding the old call
looking for The Other who would hear—

The low buzzing we made, like bees, hear
not just our desires but everything we’d learned
about desire—that birth is a call
to the universe; from conception we have contact.
We only survive when we are together.
We learn from being touched what it is to touch.

Hands, eyes, lips, hearts, touch
and understand. Without speaking, we hear:
all that our ancestors have learned
to cultivate society, not just sex as contact
but contact that issues forth the greater call.

String stretched taut, tin can call:
We twin sisters sleep at night, while parents forget to touch.
The line is in place, but loss of contact,
not…

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