in defense of the word “fuck”

by Liam Strong

in elementary i couldn’t contain my cursive
between dotted lines, the blue-white high-
way strung with prayer beads.

like my legs informing that  yes
i know what it means to curl
my tongue     yes      i know the hand bears

its own dialect                       yes      i know how the abdomen
of a capital S gloats with penumbra.
when the whorl of guilty notes

read like sheet music, i am heard.
loud & clear. we were ordered again
& again to curve the gushing belly

of our g’s until they exclaimed
with desire. i used to curse
because my parents cursed. what i was not taught

of language, i learned instead
from the crinkling of my body
like vending machine lunch

unraveling until
it dropped. when i write my favorite
curse in cursive, it looks like a key,

an opening, sounds like i want
you, i want you, i want you.