mamihlapinatapai Reference

mamihlapinatapai
Fuegian word from Tierra del Fuego below Argentina and Chile
“a look shared by two people, each wishing that the other would initiate something that they both desire but which neither wants to begin.”

“Yaghan (also known as Yamana) is a language isolate of South America, not known to be related to any other living language. It was once spoken in Tierra del Fuego. As of 2011 only one elderly Yamana woman still speaks the language fluently, but one of her granddaughters is working to record, learn and teach the language again. ”
Tierra del Fuego

Wild

Wild

I am wild and
I can’t wait to see
your bursting colors

because you
spring on me

and I jump so high
in a color of me
of us, and
luminously
there is light

lightness like
you could lift me
like a dandelion
parachute

and these seeds of us
fly across the world, because

we love us.

— Douglas Gilbert

Mamihlapinatapai

Mamihlapinatapai

We shared a Mamihlapinatapai,
and then I went to war
thinking of you, when
the slaughter harangued me
with guilt and sorrow for
my dead comrades, but

precious, I will tell you now
how much I’ve wanted you
how much I missed you, and

can we speak out loud now
our scream of love, because

you look so beautiful when
your lips pucker me.

— Douglas Gilbert

Soufflé

Soufflé

Elle parle avec moi comme si je serais un soufflé:
Elle me soulève sur un souffle et me dégonfle quand
Elle m’a transformé en dessert.
———-
She talks with me as if I would be a soufflé:
She lifts me on a breath and deflates me when
She’s turned me into a dessert

— Douglas Gilbert