Today's poem is by Paul Lisicky

The Little Songs

Three notes into the song, and I'm cooked. And I know myself
as well as I know the inner life of a sunflower stalk. You did
that, you know. Yesterday, in the woods, when you pointed out
the little songs I sing to myself when someone gets close to me.
I never knew that's what brought it on, just like I never knew
till now that you sing to keep yourself lifted when the light in
you wants to go down, down. Should I tell you that? Oops.
But I completely get it why any of us might need to say those
are your fingers, your shins, and your habits, given the mighty
temptation to merge. Aren't those ducks on the waves a single
circling braid, and the gulls in the air another; clockwise against
counterclockwise, as if every brain cell must be summoned to
resist the one great mass? And how many times a month do we
hear; Are you guys related? No, we're from Fire Island, though
I never find the sass in me to say so. Damned if you do and
damned if you don't. So is it any wonder that we make our self-
blessings, these little fences in notes?—even as I catch our legs,
in shadows, moving in single step.

Copyright © 2010 Paul Lisicky All rights reserved
from Knockout Literary Magazine
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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