Benjamin Morris


My favorite word     in German
    must be, without a doubt,

     the word      for birth control:


      I am not making this up.
    Other German words,
such as    the word for hydrogen:
    wasserstoff- water stuff-

or wackelpudding, their word for JELLO-

   those are great too,    but

there is nothing so like a word
   that    is what it is,
says what it does      like antibabypillen.

No babies.     None.

Some day, I think, we may yet
   get there, to that    point
    in our own language,
but until then,    the next time

you see me
    in the supermarket
     putting fresh radishes

    in a shimmering bag
   that rustles and silvers now as though
    breathed on by an angel,

when you put   your hand
      on my arm and say,
    how are you?
    it will be a greeting,
not a question,

     as it once was, words
and words ago.

Benjamin Morris is a native of Mississippi but now lives in Cambridge, England.

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