Verb conjugations of the Spanish word doler
seem relevantly scrawled on the blackboard
left behind by the class before mine –
me duele, te duele, le duele.
The conjugations are followed by la cabeza.
physically the head hurts.
The head can hurt, the foot can hurt,
a feeling turned into a verb
neutralized in the context of a lesson in language,
(one that happens to be romantic.)
But what else can hurt,
what else besides the head could follow
Te duele la…
Something of yours hurts,
and it seems appropriate that the mind might replace
cabeza with corazón
when considering how to hurt.
Intertwined might be the word matar, to kill
molestar, to bother
tu me matas, me molesta que…
y entonces me duele.
Thinking on this,
pensando en dolor,
thinking about the way the words roll
right off the tongue
como el agua, like the water,
como las lágrimas, like the tears,
so forgivingly, even when speaking on hurt –
thinking that it’s a good thing
I don’t teach a Spanish class,
thinking that I could never smother the meaning of pain
by reducing it to chalk dust to be erased.
I could never minimize the meaning of hurt
by neighboring it with the head.
Pensando que el dolor es del corazon,
thinking that the pain is of the heart.
I hurt, you hurt, they hurt.
A lesson in language,
perhaps romance, too.