adástsooʼ, Bilagáana, cunnilingus, Diné bizaad, erotic poetry, Judy Grahn, poem, Poetry, sonnet, translation
Adááʼ (lip). Atsooʼ (tongue). I might not know
the words for for lust or thrust or that wet greased
growl that you make with jaws stretched as you show
me just how far I can go –– but at least
you taught me to say adástsooʼ. We mapped
out our bodies with skull-fucking, hair
pulling and the heat of the day still trapped
in the skin of your pickup. This is prayer
as well. Not Bilagáana or Dineh
prayer, but still holy. Something to drive nine
hundred miles for. Somewhere out in the owl’s
light a goat bleats. Tomorrow we will pray
again without the need for language, mine
or yours, just our untranslatable howls.
In Diné bizaad (the Navajo language), adástsooʼ is the word for the clit. Bilagáana is an older term for white people (such as myself). Owl’s light is another way of talking about the dusk. 900 hundred miles is a reference to Judy Grahn’s “Love rode 1500 miles on a grey hound bus & climbed in my window one night to surprise both of us.” I’ve always adored that poem.