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

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.

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