A Flirtation

When phonemes slide up against each other
they don’t pretend to know what love might be,

but instead simply vibrate lip on lip
and curl up, side by side, tongue against teeth.

It is as if words are sweet, and larger
than life. It is a fricative fondness,

a slippery sibilance, this slow joy
of voicing two sounds that rub together

and then open into a shimmering
cascade of vowels, arcing from low to high.

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