Tasting the Dictionary

Ever since my first memory, certain sounds and letters have a taste.

I don’t explain it to people, and when I do they often gloss over what I describe. At face value, I can see how it smacks of total bullshit.

It took me until Psych 101 to know that it’s called Lexical-Gustatory synesthesia. I had a lot of moments of clarity in college, but never anything like the relief of finally having the word to describe my sensory perceptions!

This is to the boy sitting next to me in that Psych lecture.  He watched me writing notes about left-handed women being prone to synesthesia.  He leaned over, smiled, and gave me a sly sidelong glance.  He whispered “So, you’re a lefty? Good luck with that!”


lift me in
a handwritten
focused though
a synesthetic lens.

your fine eyes cut
through prose
like an electric
tongue kiss.

your calm voice
treads the rush
of sensory
each syllable
is a new course

let me taste the way
through words
to my truth:

the lake is red koolaid
agreement is sausage
luck snaps of carrot
insult is a bloody lip

i find my voice
when you speak
your mind

the first man
to certify
my sensory

i’ll never
forget the taste!