Language Barrier

Speak to me in cherry blossoms
in bullet trains and mineral baths
in a voice rich with pickled fish
with mountain vegetables and buckwheat noodles

Whisper to me with the lion’s roar
with the wind on the Serengeti
sing in the syntax of stars
in the hushed quiet of the hunt

Greet me in the parlance of vineyards
in the rich pulp of tomatoes
regale me with overflowing machismo
with the quiet terror of history

I may not recognize the words
but these things
these things
I understand