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Copulation in English by Mohja Kahf

We are going to dip English backward
by its Shakespearean tresses
arcing its spine like a crescent
We are going to rewrite English in Arabic

and all the languages of our blood
We are going to give English the makeover of its lifetime,
darkening the rims of its eyes with Hindi antimony,
making it blush Farsi roses

We are going to make English dizzy
until English vomits its history,
Norman, Saxon, Celtic, down
to its Druid dregs
We won’t stop playing with English
We are the new bullies in the schoolyard
and we like the merry-go-round of nouns and adjectives
and onomatopoetics and objective correlatives

We will bewilder English in the Aramaic of Jesus
Elohim, elohim

We know its biblical heart better than it knows itself
and hold the blades of these lilies of the valley
against its jugular vein

We are going to make English love us
and kiss us and explore us with its tongues
Then we will play hard to get
and English will have to phone
and leave message after message of desire on our machines
English will have to learn what to say to please us:

English has never tasted anything this purple,
seen mangoes this bursting, trickling down its poems,
pomegranates spraying the tart red seeds
over its stories like white linen
English has never smelled cardamom this ecstatic
or breathed rhetoric this thick with love

English will come to us hoarse with the passion
we will have taught English to have
and English will never be the same and will never regret us
Although, after this night of intense copulation,

we may slaughter English in its bed and redeem our honor,
even while pregnant with English’s bastard

Happy Sunday.

One hour of sad cool jazz.

x00:00 The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Fujiyama
05:04 Paul Desmond and Jim Hall – Glad to Be Unhappy
10:52 Bill Evans Trio – In Love in Vain
15:51 Brad Mehldau – Waltz for J.B.
21:56 Benny Green – Summer Nights
26:56 Wayne Shorter – Infant Eyes
33:50 Wynton Marsalis – The Very Thought of You
39:27 Art Pepper – Lost Life
45:25 Duke Ellington – Prelude to a Kiss
50:09 Chet Baker – You Don’t Know What Love Is
55:02 Chet Baker – For All We Know