Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

Michael T. Young: Reading for Pleasure

I sometimes — no, often — have to say things out loud
to understand them because that voice in my head
doesn’t sound like me, doesn’t know that words
have hard textures like a canvas bag or wool sweater
that need to be rubbed roughly to make sense and he
is a too clean-shaven idea about me to really get
what I’m about, with flaky skin that crusts around my nose
when I don’t wash regularly, roughage shading my cheek
on days without a razor and how wise and forgiving
the mere rhythm of language can be, like a stress ball
that’s more comforting tossed in the air than squeezed,
feeling its heft and fall, its body slapping the palm when it
comes back down, as all things do, even stinging, as if to blast
the lines in the hand and reroute them, change the schedule,
the mapping and the simple work that a hand can do, like
pointing through a window or beyond the anchoring ground,
past familiar oceanic weights and measures, toward something
like an interruption, as when we reclined on a beach at midnight
and one flash of bioluminescence hyphenated the breakers
making the dark into a thick scribble of text, where an aqueous
editor tested the buoyancy of each rewrite, and we sat back,
silent the rest of the night, watching for the next revision,
mindless of the final version and who, in the end, would own it.

Copyright 2018 Michael T. Young. First published in Upstreet 6 and included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.

Michael T. Young’s latest book is The Infinite Doctrine of Water published by Terrapin Books.

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This entry was posted on March 30, 2018 by in Poetry and tagged , .

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