• Melinda Smith


you close the door,

leaving your news behind

like a tiny egg

i send my voice after you
it thickens   sweeps soft  from my lips
it has become a dark brown
thing    a furred wing     flailing
i am freighted with
words for you  i carry them
between my teeth   jokes   nicknames  rules for pillow fighting
the particulars of the broken
window  the fact that stage 3 is not
stage 4   how i know about
your shoplifting charge from year 10
& still remember the precise
location of the matchbox car
i hid from you
in 1979   the great results they get from keyhole surgery

these days          

the words clog

and swarm

all i am is this
wrong kind of chattering
it makes me think how
after fire certain                                
blackened saplings
grow their leaves wrong that is all along their arms not out at their fingers    
like the charred bark can only
speak its cause over and over having lost

all other habit    
but i can't
tell you this or anything
like this  
only cough you        
the mothdust
from under my tongue