“… for the whole of nature, too, is imbued with a nameless, unspoken language, the residue of the creative word of God.”
—Walter Benjamin, On Language as Such and on the Language of Man
I do not remember the language of
the Chattahoochee, only the sound
the sun made when it bended
into the kudzu—wounded crane,
gilded arrow. Of course, there were your toes
between the reddened mud. We resisted nothing.
Red is the secret of torpored water.
You laid beside me in your yellow swimsuit,
the one with daisies. I rested my head onto the mildewy
towel. Your second shape was created
in the heavy heat. I tried to grasp it.
We noticed a man some yards away; naked,
washing the back of his neck.
You named him Adam. Along us there was river birch,
hickory, tenderfooted trillium. But, there were your
words, too, hanging from the trees, whistling.
I had never known before, how naming permits
existence. You made things knowable in