there is a moment in learning a language, love,
when the translation becomes a burden.

the word is not there, nor the symbol—the sheep
nor the razor nor the solid color blue.

the sense shoots to the heart,
like hemlock or prayer, and you

crackle open, compliant
to the godhead, and there is no thinking,

only the twin balance
of disparate bodies, only an awareness

made by the void that frames something known:
this is the unspeakable, made different

by the absence of all that it can’t encompass.
this black understanding. you

have been gone for some time. when i think of you
it is not even you i am thinking of.

Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian Poet, Cave Canem fellow, graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and recipient of a Bread Loaf scholarship. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, 32 Poems, Cider Press Review, Anti-, Muzzle, Mobius, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net award.