I speak in a lulling melody of ‘here’ and ‘now’ and ‘stay’
repeat this so often that it chafes
until you roll me back into your mouth, lay me
unspoken on your undulating tongue, gently
the way little girls with too much puppy fat
bounce when they walk.
And I want you to speak me again, not to be able to stop speaking me
so that I break out of the hollow of your mouth
and you give me new names, the wrong ones
like ‘sweet’ and ‘little’ and ‘slow’
so that afterwards I start to behave like a conditioned dog,
covering my breasts every time
you come into the bathroom.
Let us tell lies about analogue love to the pillow
somewhere between tongue and teeth.
Perhaps we’ll still spring into each other’s minds.
Perhaps we’ll remember the place
where we began to shake
and we could no longer get into the rhythm.
Translated from Dutch by Michele Hutchinson