Conjugation of KOCHAĆ (to love) in the present tense

KOCHAM: I love       

Both singular and imperfect,
the accented voice of the girl
we pass on Bożego Ciała
I love! I love.

KOCHASZ: You love

This is magic. Watch:
I roll you and love
into one compact word
and end it with a whisper

KOCHA: He/she/it loves

[HE/SHE/IT] chokes
in the middle of things,
and comes out sighing

KOCHAMY: We love

Add just one letter to the singular
and suddenly

KOCHACIE: You (pl.) love

You all love together,
transmutation of one
into a new fullness
ie the peony plant my mother moved
from my grandfather’s garden
after his death
that now blossoms in abundance

KOCHAJĄ: They love

End with a tail pointed forward
to imply that this is not finished,
that there exists an infinity of loves
waiting for two mouths to conjugate them into meaning

Shannon Kuta Kelly’s work has appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, the Irish Times, Crannog, and Body Prague. She was named one of the best new Irish and British poets of 2018 by Eyewear Press. She lives in Galway, Ireland.

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