Dulcet You | Melissa Buckheit
Originally from New York and New England, Melissa Buckheit is a queer poet, dancer/choreographer, photographer, English Lecturer and professional Bodywork Therapist. She is the author of Noctilucent (Shearsman Books, 2012), and two chapbooks including Arc (The Drunken Boat, 2007). Her poems, translations, photography, essays, critical interviews and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, The Feminist Wire, HerKind, The VOLTA, Sinister Wisdom, The Drunken Boat, Bombay Gin, Spiral Orb, Shearsman Magazine, Waxwing, and The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (University of Arizona Press, 2016), among others. Buckheit translates the poet Ioulita Iliopoulou from Modern Greek, and is a recipient of the American Poets Honorary Award, a Tucson-Pima Arts Council Dance grant, and two Pushcart Prize nominations. She holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from Naropa University and a B.A. in English & American Literature, Dance/Theatre & French from Brandeis University. She has co-curated the innovative Edge Reading Series in Tucson, AZ since 2008, and taught at Pima College and Zuzi Dance Company. Find her at melissabuckheit.com.
I will leave for France. I want to speak a language other than one in which I’ve fallen in love. Leaving is freedom. Amid the masses of gray cobbles and distracted French, I can pass imperceptibly, inutterably silent. I can ask for small things—simple foods and vague directions to important landmarks. I won’t have to say any word which once belonged to my lover and me.
Beautiful France—her arrogant and indifferent people. Her people’s culture, every small Paris apartment cluttered with tilting, full bookcases and the ubitquitous silence of absent TVs. I’ve been waiting to go, avoiding it—afraid I would not return. I make an inadequate tourist. Gray Paris. If we went I could translate everything—you wouldn’t be lost in a city without language. Or having no language you wish to speak.
You once said that there are other things in a relationship besides love, but I don’t believe you. Your language betrays your heart.
I moved to the desert because water only reminds me of time.