Today's poem is by Tina Kelley
The Music of Places Going on Without Us
Four times every minute the twelve-tanned sea shoots a white fusetip
of breaking wave north, scrambling in a roar. Next the pounding
through the gorge resounds, the waterfall hitting rock slope,
splaying with white weight, loud yarn spilling. At 5 a.m., noon, midnight.
The heartbeat, rising gurgle of stomach bubbles, guitar chords,
muffled laughter, singing of the national anthem, occasional sloppy-galoshes
oflove: the womb. The storm coming up across the field: road machinery? Hail.
The maternal nag of hangers pushed across the closet bar in the hot upstairs.
Cicadas and their nightmare noise closer to the brain than the sound of swallowing,
all erased by the cymbalcrash of diving into the pool. All go on somewhere now.
"Dixie" possesses the pipe organ daily in Luray Caverns for tourists
hundreds of feet underfoot. The cat who ran away is purring
somewhere, maybe. The buzz of fluorescent lights eats through the library,
invading brains, a burrowing worm. People hear themselves chewing lobstertails
at our seaside bistro in Galveston. The squeak of foot on floorboard (ceiling)
announces nightfall to the new renter in my old West Side apartment.
The tokay lizard's baby voice teases, "It's you!" and aggravating arpeggios
sink from Bangkok ice cream trucks to the base of the skull, then bubble up
again endlessly, all through the dry season. Every neighborhood has a three-year-old
with a chimey voice, her flipflops making their rickety rackety emily fidgety noise.
And in mountain towns sleet falls on sheds, percussion for a small old song
no one wrote down. Last again is the waterfall, the skeined water
unraveling, no ends, no knots. And the snaredrumroll of ocean
arcing across the peninsula, reaching for the bay without end.
Copyright © 2017 Tina Kelley All rights reserved
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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