by Gideon Burton
I waste my words, encumbering thought with flesh,
all mashed in glottal mush, the meaning pressed
against the palate and the jilting thresh
of time, occasion, cues mistook or guessed--
She speaks my name as though to keep the air
from bruising it, as though upon her tongue
it lies, a flower petal thin and rare,
and any extra syllable, though sung
with grace, would loosen filaments or cells
and leave a shredded shell, a noise profane
and blank, no longer sounding down the well
of mystery, a label, fixed, inane.
My libels thrive on every breathing wave;
she calls me once, and all my words behave.