At the tip of my tongue one phoneme,
pressed like a flower between tongue
and tooth, blossomed: a breath of steam
delicate as dandelion achenes hung
mid-air on rippled sound, dispersed.
Glorious glossolalia, this un-naming—
I stammered sub-vocal mutters, burst
out “What is that called?”—aiming
the question at the sky, the sky-blue
damselfly, rocks, the maidenhair fern,
myself, the world. None gave any clue,
clue enough I’d found Eden: learned
I’d been shorn of what names I knew;
the only tongue spoken here—value, hue.