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TO BALANCE
   simper
skit
   wad
snag

Just the stitches in the fabric – scuffle, snug, scrub, spatter,
reef, snip, split, frolic – particularly the stitches in the fabric,
a bridge I know, a little house under it … what is that sound I'm
hearing, a somehow draped structure around a core? The beetle's
upturned body in the sink. My hands waiting for something to happen …
 
Do you like it?
Yes, I do.
Your shed
your books
your notebooks
your time.
 
Most populations hardly notice the alphabets they live through,
but when oral cultures come into contact with cultures that write,
'literate' culture – as we say – the oral culture, learning that
alphabet, can move across its symmetries and strangenesses with a
certain … sensitivity. So
 
cride é
        daire cnó
ócán é
        pócán dó
 
is oral, and lettrist – every word rhyming, every syllable
rhyming, every letter finding its repetition (except the kiss,
a plosive), a sort of spasm of self-conscious design, (Celtic,
bardic, academic even) from far away, in silence, and the Roman
alphabet on goat's skin to the side of a Gospel, in Latin. There.
Just the stitches in the fabric. But a girl's kiss too carrying
across centuries in a handful of received letters. Nine of them
in fact. Now, do the same in English. 

 
Poet's Note: The Irish reads literally: 'he is my heart/fruit of the oak/he is a young man/a kiss for him'