Laudete Verbum
by Devon Miller-Duggan

Tup, though charming, lacks the poison of F.
Bang, though violent, lacks the chuckle.
Plow’s too agricultural and stinks of barnyard.
Sleep with is, well, a snooze.
Coitus’s only used by those to dried to do it.
IT’s a fog, a screen, a wink, a cheat, a chicken.
Boink’s a cartoon—condoms and fireworks both in crates marked “ACME.”
Fornicate’s a crime, and mate’s what bees, trees, even educated fleas do.
Ditto procreate, though it biblically commands as well.
Hide the salami’s too busy laughing at itself to get to the meat of the matter.

Verbs, nouns, all cluck their tongues, all ducking meaning,
all stuck with one skill, 2-legged stools chucked across the room
in what won’t become a bar fight, trucked out in leets and burbelows,
a few of the ruck of euphemisms, puckish, schmucky, tucked up in
scientific covers, struck dumb by embarrassment. As if the word, in all its
infinite uses, snuck out its window and took off to smoke and drink
with other trashy euphemisims, or sucked itself down its throat
and chucked itself back up, unrecognizable,
instead of marching out, its own parade of every part and participle
words can huck across the laid-down lawn of language.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 3.

devon-miller-duggan_sqDevon Miller-Duggan has had poems appear in Rattle, Shenandoah, Margie, The Indiana Review, The Hollins Critic and elsewhere. She’s won an Academy of American Poets Prize, a fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts, and an editor’s prize in Margie.

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