Not long ago I learned—to my surprise—
That “cherish,” “whore,” “caress” and “charity”
Are cognate words whose ancient root gave rise,
As well, to “kama.” Blest with clarity,
I theorized that concepts I had long
Connected in my mind (although I never
Admitted this to anyone) were strong
Devices for persuasion. Feeling clever,
I told a girl of whom I was quite fond
That hot caresses are the thing to cherish
When lights grow dimmer, hoping she’d respond.
She did, but charity was absent. “Perish
The thought!” she yelled, then showed me to the door.
And as I stumbled down the stoop she said,
“Nice try, old boy, but I am not your whore.”
I winced, invectives ringing through my head.
Our language has a subtext, and the crux
Is where subliminal communication
Determines whom a cunning linguist fucks
Or doesn’t. So it goes with conjugation.