I placed my hand against heart to quench the spark.
Yet once I let you kiss me with the kisses of your mouth.
I drank each word you wrote on my tongue.
I swigged until I was fire.
Wick and flicker, thrill of flare—
a dialect of brightest alleluia.
Language licked. Smoke filled my lungs.
Beauty revealed by Sarah Goodridge, 1828, watercolour on ivory,
6.7 x 8 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
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