The Hawaiian language has 12 letters
which is important to understand
particularly if you consider writing
an apostrophic poem, not to a person
or thing, but to a letter of the alphabet.

It might help to explain why Hawaiian
poets never write about zoology or
the role that zygotes play in life, and
leave zymurgy to the haoles, for
native Hawaiians prefer a linear
life, free of endless zigs and zags

I don’t imagine I will try and learn
Hawaiian any time soon, although
with twelve letters, I’d have an easier
time of it than Russian, say, but nor
will I write an apostrophic poem
to the letter Z although I will open
a bottle of zinfandel to honor it.


Well before there was
Aristotle, there was aa,
which comes as no surprise
to geologists who never
doubted the history
and creation of
this planet.

Well after the zebra
there was the zygote,
which a biologist
would tell you
is putting the cart
well before the horse.

The lexicographer will say
that he did not create
this disconnect, for he
or she is a mere recorder,
so you’d have to go
back the the source —
if you can find
an etymologist
to lead you there.