Because passion was salt,
you and I fed
each other young mangos.
Locked our jaws shut with
starved pits. Its flesh laid
onto our fingers for comfort.
And because your mouth tasted like
a cave alongshore I would
imagine finding Andromeda's
ravished dress, still saltstain by cuffs
and bedrock, with my tongue.
Woman, what did you
expect me to find in you besides refuge?
The Romans planted Carthage with saltó
Or rather what we root in the mouth
will always act against it. By that I
mean, the momentum
of an arrow to a shield is not a leap,
it's the collision of
metal, revealing a man's
beating heart. Thus even
when the mouth is tart
with seawater a thousand licks
will never seal the wound
Rathanak Michael Keo
is a Kundiman Fellow. He is currently serving as
Co-Chair for the IMPAACT, Identifying the Missing Power of Asian Americans in Connecticut,
2007 conference which will be held at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. He can be found at