English was my first love.
To me, no greater of a comfort existed than
The familiar syntax of my mother tongue.
The rise and fall of a plot chart.
The superfluous vocabulary; gaudy and outrageous.
Something to be shown off, as a child does his shiny, new nickel.
A writer’s creed is her words.
Furthermore, it’s the spine, upon which her person hood was hewn around.
The ability to speak freely and without restriction.
The net an acrobat falls back upon.
It’s not failed me yet.
Spanish was my second love.
The Language of Maternity, in my mind.
Reminds me dearly of the nanny who raised me.
Who gave me my penchant for language.
Who spoke Spanish to me in my early youth
and made me recite the colors on the ride home from school.
Rojo, Azul, Amarillo,
I recite, boredly.
But in hindsight, I see these moments in pink.
Spanish’s familiar embrace: she grapples me, tight ‘til breath is strained through lung and throat,
She’s enamored with me, though I feel the edge of her resentment chafing like a thorn in my side.
She shuns me, so.
Leaves me to wonder why:
The Tense. The Stem Change. English’s Semantic Equivalent?
She tortures me, bloody.
I’ll always have a special affinity for the likes of her.
She sent me into this world straight,
Readying me for another romance language that might come along, and steal my heart.
That which was always hers before another’s.
I fear I’ve rejected Spanish, as of modern.
I hope she knows we have a trendless sort of love.
When languages and lovers go out of style,
Devotion like ours doesn’t fade.
Italian has been my third and final love.
The language of my scrutiny.
My lips curse her name in her absence.
What wayward lady, strict with principle?
I fancy myself familiar with her machinations;
The grammar, the structure, the cursed irregularities.
The private, indulgent secrets she bears only to her most patient learners.
The parts of her that those who know her less intimately than I do might balk and cringe at.
I am utterly undaunted by her.
Revel in her morbid disarray.
She wears her pride like rouge
And I succumb to her honor, eternally.
Admitting when my diction, my accent slips.
When my words fail.
Because I crawl back to her, palms, bare knees searing against sun-shocked pavement.
Doing what it takes to earn her will to meet me halfway.
Quick to anger – slow to forgive, Italian is;
A cruel mistress.
I am unceasingly hers.
My Tre Amores
They fill the hollow cavities of my heart.
Pump my extremities with passion.
Ease the aching aimlessness of an otherwise apathetic existence.
With My Tre Amores,
I am whole.