I dreamed I fell in love with you again, but you were deaf.
Instead of saying “I love you,” you signed it, hands white whispers in the dark. Even with your face touching mine, you could still read my lips.
Every day, you spelled out wonderful things in the air:
How you treasured me, how you knew I was yours,
How you owned every inch and fiber of my being.
I learned a little sign language, too. You were proud of of me.
We watched movies together at night,
Subtitles flickering on a silent screen.
We were one, our roots entangled and coiled
In the soil of soft salt-earth.
In the same dream, later, you fell in love with a blind girl.
I was the bridge between you two: I translated your signs to language,
and guided her hands so she could trace words on your skin
like a wood-scratching artist discovering paper for the first time.
Her inkstains bloomed like dark flowers, cloudy in the night.
I helped you propose to her. But you never left me.
You took me with you. Every night, the sharp pain of longing
Was dulled, like a stump regrowing after countless amputations;
She slept so deeply that there was no barrier between us.
Afterwards, I would press my lips to your neck, lying between the two of you, murmuring the same thing she would trace on your skin, murmuring
I love you: those flower-words, that dark lingering sound.