The Sound I'll Make


when I meet the devil will break the backs of bees. I'll say, Let the clatter come,

and it will be so. A dragged leg's rasp, a scrabbling rodent, a roiling kettle


of buzzards ready to gorge and preen. A bite through fruit skin, my brother's

window opened, the ocean in a lightning whelk flung across the morning.


Hound muzzle digging in fur, tongue at new wound, and down the avenue

sewers flood, churn, spill airplane bottles, doll heads, and dominoes.


Snap of linen on the line—sprung firmament. Spine against bleached

cement, rose rashes spreading, irresistible scratch. Suck of tar at ungulate foot,


the pavement split, a neighbor child in the sandbox belly, raking to the Orient.

Swing of scythes in lawn sculptures, gravel under gator heels, the clicking spin


of fan blades, slicing pruning shears, crackling toe joints and twigs, birled logs

down the pile, a mile of starlings muttering to themselves. But no sound


summoned will match the cat-gut strings, the singing claws, the horse's hair aflame.

Voice of my flesh crying up from the ground: a beat as soft as the beast himself.





Places I've Been

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