Today's poem is by Megan Gannon

First Defense

Suddenly everything

had a word. Each day
he led a new beast

by the scruff
or muzzle, each name

blossomed my throat
like scented air. Tortoise,

mouse, horse, hare.
He'd found a way

of living
with absence—a sound

to summon the beast
when the beast wasn't

there. How long,
with the sun only

skin and breath

without a word hard
to swallow, could I

last without something
similar to give? I only

wanted him to know
distance and emptiness

answered, to show
how every word consumed

hollows wider
at the core so soon

the only thing you have
to spare is hunger.

Copyright © 2008 Megan Gannon All rights reserved
from Poetry Kanto
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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