for Willem Jan

“What is description . . . but encoded desire?”

— Mark Doty

It’s morning.
I pull you from the crib
all warm and yeasty,
your hair stuck up like two soft horns,
you beaming brighter than a headlight
in anticipation of the nip.

Silly boy,
tender pink niblet,
luscious little beast,
water nut, love blossom,
Panis bulbosa, lactata nippiana.

And so begin
the verbal fevers
of my love-smitten Tourette’s,
speaking in tongues
wild with metaphor,
swinging from branch to branch of simile,
rooting about for words
to match your roundness, your just succulency,
your sheer plump thigh-liness.

All morning I groom you with tiny love-names.
I am a cat, you are my kitten, cowlicked
with locution. I am a sound nymph
tickling you with alliteration, a Swedish masseuse
rubbing you with vowels.
Who would have known my love
would rise up so fiercely, hover
delirious in small bits of sound,
all day the adjectives landing and relanding,
determined to match your infinite perfection,
my sweet boy, my sweet boy.