What Tie Means
The twist of wire closing the sourdough,
the score of some game, the method
for dyeing our comeback sixties shirts;
the squeeze of a silk four-in-hand, tin cans
rattling our car’s tailpipe. What you do
with your hiking boots— those hooks and laces—
before you step on the wet world.
I’m not talking about any of that.
There’s only this: dinner on the simmer,
you stalled in traffic, hand clenching the horn
until gridlock moves. When it does, the car
takes it from there—tires furrowing slick streets,
garage door drawing up, our history bound up
in a kiss.
A magician pulls an angel out of his hat.
It rises to the roof of his life, wings tucked in
with misdirected prayers. The wings are not important─
useful only to bite down on, like fingernails,
or to pull out, like strands of hair.
The hat is another story. Before everything in it
vanishes like old gold coins, the angel must recognize
that the man without his magic is the same man
who caused the ruination of her wings.
The roar announces itself with breath
strongman enough to swallow the world.
Takes the mouth aback, lips stretched,
teeth bared, that runaway tongue fierce
in the right light. Fills the room with blood
and curdles it. Lifts the hair along
the neck and spine, the way it did when
the neighbour girl held the sharp-clawed tabby
to your face. You were three, standing
just out of mother’s sight, knee-deep in snow.
Had you known how to growl, your mouth
would not have opened and closed on silence
already swallowed, you would have twisted sound
from your throat and lobbed it at the cat, and the girl,
the blue shadows on the snow. You went mute instead,
voice smothered as if stuffed inside your toy cat
with all the glass-eyed kittens, the zipper along its belly
always running up and down, opening and closing.
She can’t help it, people say. She’s got a disorder.
Once, you said that the sound of a lion’s roar
can travel five miles, but the howling in your head
is a sound only you can hear.
Social Life with Collectives
a turmoil of porpoises a shiver of sharks a prickle of porcupines
a shrewdness of apes a sleuth of bears a sault of lions
a tribe of humans a nag of grandparents an ingratitude of children
a delusion of creatives a revelation of scientists a
doctrine of doctors
an apron of nurses a worship of writers a pomposity of pundits
a cache of weapons a shoulder of bullets a target of bullseyes
an ambush of predators prey is uncountable
Cheryl Snell is a poet. Novelist. Pianist. Aficionado of old music and new art. Fluent in sub-text. A multiple Best of the Net nominee, her work has been published in a few hundred literary journals and anthologies over the years.
Really enjoyed these. Especially ‘Hush’.ReplyDelete