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Today's poem is by Robert King


Table Conversation of Two People I Can't Hear

"The ocean rolls like this," he says with his hand.
Then, "I have a beard. My chin is dark."
"There is a circular whirlpool on my arm,"
the woman with him muses, looking down.

"My hand is wet," he replies. "I must shake it."
"My ear is too high," she says. "I feel its weight."
"Now," he declares authoritatively, "I must hold
my head up." "Here's one point," he says, "and there."

"The grave," she reports sadly, "was about this wide.
And here is the broken church of my hands."
"Look how a fish swims," he says. "This way and that."
"These are my lips," she murmurs. "This hand half-reaches

to God, sand in an hour glass. These are my lips again."
"A violin," he points out, "is shaped thus, and thus."
"These are my lips," she keeps repeating, "these are my lips."
"The grave," he asserts finally, "was filled up in this manner."



Copyright © 2002 Robert King All rights reserved
from Naming Names
Palanquin Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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