portion of the artwork for Aïcha Martine Thiam's poetry

Page-Turning as a Declaration of Love
Aïcha Martine Thiam

Because we seldom use our words,
      unmoored and can’t relate,

our hands have all the eloquence of
      different languages symphonizing.

The piano is an enclave, we sit at its
      threshold fiddling the waterkeys;

why and when did I leave you? I can’t
      keep my eyes off the teeming              surfaces.

You, King Salmon, and I the torrid fishwife;
      I would sell you, but I fear

your high-priced idiosyncrasies.
      And we seldom use our words,

not to wrangle, no longer to haggle.
      When I left you? When you swore

you could not trust me. And yet: when
      I step into bodies of water,

Fishes, all in a tizzy, gather around me.
      I read you reading, flick the pages

like my hands belong to you, and I
      know you are the liar: I don’t

trust you
, another myth under half-duress.
      Knowing the floorboards of

a house that groans takes time,
      and in you, you’ve allowed me

endless wanderings. I may again
      ask for something high-priced,

that says I love you more than
      love itself
, and carry no shame

to barter it. Don’t we both make
     music beautiful again?

                              you and your red wine lips

sated on my blood

                              you can have my guts and all my

                                                                                                                                        salty roe too

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 56 | Fall/Winter 2020