Original Text: 
A Strange Relief: Poems (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2001): 21-22.
1The vocabulary of desire
2is incomplete, a word is missing.
3My tongue searches
4for your body in language
5and finds you in every word.
6I thought this was a small thing, a stone
7in the palm I could offer you,
8my body in darkness a simple gift
9casual as a pebble.
10As if touching were easier than speaking,
11as if this poem did not prove you
12inside me already, as if asking
13meant I still had the power to invite.
14But you make me aware of breathing,
15of the awesome fact
16that each particle of air
17has been taken at least once
18into every lung.
19Suddenly I have no boundaries
20and to kiss you seems to drink up the sky,
21slip it from my tongue into your mouth.
22Our bodies just our hearts' clothing,
23and I came to you so shabbily dressed.
24Maybe I thought that for one night
25I could wear your beauty through closeness
26and for a few hours believe myself
27splendidly arrayed.
28But you know all the lyrics
29to rejection.
30My body, your exquisite voice's
31shattered glass.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © Sonnet L'Abbé 2006. Not to be republished without permission of the poet.