The Sound of My Name
To step into another language
direct the breath
swell the mouth with vowels
feel the jaw configure itself around the word
write another script on the tongue
A woman learning Russian describes
the new inclination of her head,
her chest, her hands,
the muscular changes in the tongue
the way sibilance tightens
the upper lip
like bee stings around the jaw
the movement of air over her throat
a subtle invasion
taking possession of her mouth
I teach you to say the first letter of my name,
a sound between g and h,
for which there is no letter in English.
take a sip of water,
make a flat oval of the lips,
Remember the sound of the exhalation.
Clear the throat.
Between the two is the start of my name.