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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, April 28, 2017.
About this Poem 

“The word that one of the lovers has made up might be effable, which really isn't made up at all—it's just gone out of use. Effable sounds like an imprecation, a word that stems from precari, meaning ‘to pray.’ One likes to think that lovers enjoy a lot of praying, not with their words but with their bodies.”
—Mark Yakich

Things Said To Be Ineffable

A book decorates
A nightstand

And a body
Decorates a bed.

The nightstand
May be made

Of plastic, metal,
Or wood,

And is normally
The same

Height as the bed.
Even if they are

Very married,
Lovers tarry

And aver
And aver and

Tarry. Finally
One of them

Rises
To search

The dictionary
For a word

The other has
Made up.
 

Copyright © 2017 by Mark Yakich. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 28, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Mark Yakich. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 28, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Mark Yakich

Mark Yakich

Mark Yakich is the author of The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine (Penguin, 2008). He teaches at Loyola University New Orleans.

by this poet

poem
And I am not a pedestal.

We are not a handful of harmless
scratches on pale pink canvas.
Today is not the day to stop

looking for the woman
to save you. What was once
ivory is wood. What was once

whalebone is cotton.
My coif and corset are duly
fastened, and your shirttail is

tied in a diamond knot. 
You may
poem

When I was a boy and my fist
Would land into my father’s arm,

I’d cry out, and he’d say
Didn’t hurt me none.

He’s been dead six years now,
And my work is still to try

To beat myself up
And make the pain last.