Dehelixing Adora (At the Tip of His Tongue)
by Paula Mendoza
He invents the snow for word, and folds his hands.
I crossed my poles from dusk to east, and fasted
in the winter of his cell. There, my body became
uninhabitable. Nevertheless, men
burrow a certain death and call it home.
He is certain, tasking the rook with flight.
I pry my jaw’s vise, emancipating all wingless beasts.
We sew scripts of exile into the lining of robes.
He invents the night for word and I lap at salt
behind his knees. For those weak of limb must crawl
to know dawn’s mauve approach. Forgiveness
invents a hasp for hearts. And nevertheless, my vices.
When opening a fist, finger by finger, found a tooth.
Which is not the word for gone, though they may sound alike.