a lot changes
in one’s mouth
Some people have short tongues
very short tongues
Others have long bottom jaws
Each of us has a most comfortable batch of sounds
a wet library of favourites
caged birds in the garden
My mouth wants to split itself apart, lips yes but also the hinges of my jaw as though looking for a tight corner to bark
People like to ask
where did you grow up
They want to decide which of my sounds belong
His sentences all ended with the word Austin,
a place I’d never seen,so I packed a duffelbag,
overwatered the garden, and set out on foot,
the way many of the greats in my family had done,
among other rascally things.
The flutter of engines enchanted me.
Most awkward moment:Out of cash,bartering my eyelashes.
Thank you, bad-shot farmers, for all the pecans.
Thank you, hounds, for losing interest.
Some nights I would wake to a sweet melody grinding
like an ice-cream summons and stumble,
half-awake, trying to answer the phone in a forest.
So what if I drooled into rock receivers?
Someone needed to arrive firstand put an ear to the ground.
Someone needed to find a loft with flexible floors.
Who better to memorize the acoustics of local venues,
know which houses were haunted,which gutters led somewhere?
I tumbled after the weeds,eager to turn on the A.C.and give the first tour.