Miia Toivio


To you I return.
Are you my only vowel?
Perhaps not, no, it’s not
you, but into you that I
plunge, I pry, I probe, if only
you’ll allow this flight, this flow, this flair
for your bones
which I only dream of and towards
which I float.

Eternity is yours, forever arriving greatness you are
a little death met often, transforming
into directions not yet present.
In you I confide, your formless lips,
deaf: see how I defy this distance! I arrive
when you have already left. You recognize repetition,
it’s your turf. The longest distance between us
is form. Froth. Throng. Growth.
Forgetting, and feeling

it again. How eerie you are
and how near, how numb are these words
and unable to retain you. Which tones,
how many notes are needed for a net
into which you swim, with hazy strokes, again
and again like someone familiar you come, and are
gone, the creature within you still, let your arms
forever be absent from here, where
infinitely I am yielding

This is a description; it is hidden in somebody else’s tale. Read the hints, they point
elsewhere, further like a method, the dome, doth me. You yearn for this gun to be fired.
You only need to think about something else, that’s all. Sometimes in the structure
there is a little more, sometimes a little less, of him. There is something in his mind
which reminds me of a tower, you wish to climb it and flow down a little bit.
For a long time he has wanted to tell you some things about architecture.
You somewhat get it. It has something to do with vowels.
Vowels do stuff to you; you yearn to have more vowels. Your hints are vowels. He wants
a history, he wants to lick it and make it do some stuff. They are two separate things.
Two separate things want to make some vowels for you. You yearn to have a few more licks.
The hand is in both places. It is not meant to yearn meaning like on rails; you know how desirable it is,
but not regularly. You wish to have this order. All you have to do is think about something
else. He wants to tell you all about vowels. He cannot wait until architecture has first caressed him.
The tower is in both tales. You desire some history; history is going to make you
do things. He wants to write more vowels. You desire something else; and then
some more vowels. They are two separate things. Two separate things are in both
places. The hand has held the vowel, which has caressed architecture. The history of licks
is written in a vowel. History wants more of it. It forces you, that’s all, to wanting things.
Your thing is in both places. He wants to lick it and force it into doing history, but not
regularly. You wish to have this order. The tower is in both tales. He wants history
to caress you. History just can’t get enough of vowels.

Selfportrait No. 1

The fuzzy mirror of a fingertip, a labyrinth                        here

                                                                                       stairs of hair
              convex                    yarn
deaf                          rain                    odorous                    sloping
             you see              on a palm                     a path

of internal organs
                                          a stream         in the picture look right

                 the mechanism connecting the mind and

                                                         which the heart
                          is carrying

                                                    and weaving apart

                                        translated by the author

Miia Toivio is the editor-in-chief for the poetry magazine Tuli&Savu. She has studied comparative literature and Finnish literature at the University of Helsinki. Her poetry has been published in the digital poetry portal Nokturno and in MotMot, the Poetry Yearbook of the Living Poets’ Society. Toivio is especially interested in working with the sound and rhythmic aspects of poetry and also with different forms. She blogs at http://miiatoivio.blogspot.com. Toivio is also an active member in the poetry society Nihil Interit, which is the publisher for Tuli&Savu. Tuli&Savu is now the oldest and only Finnish literary magazine concentrated only on poetry. It has been published since 1994.

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