Feathers

12 Jul

I was cleaning up my digital debris the other day (is it clutter when it’s on your laptop?) and discovered some long-buried poems. Here’s one from my first, disoriented days in the U.S., where the tricky and subtle gaps between Australian and U.S. English (and manners, New England style) kept tripping me up.

__________
There’s something stuck in my mouth.

It tastes like feathers.
It tastes like a foreign language.
It’s stuck to my tongue, and I can’t get it off.

I think it’s my accent.

There’s a bird in my mouth.
There’s a bird built a nest in my mouth
out of old gum wrappers and string, and bits of:

see you Tuesday yeah no sweat
-alright but the steel don’t connect

and bits of:

I said call me. Call me. I said, I said call me.

There’s a bird laid an egg in my mouth.
I’m running and I trip

–on Empire St.
-outside Perishable Theatre

and I trip and the egg breaks in my mouth

-near the locked door of the Citizens’ bank
-up from the library

and my mouth floods with

-gas
-coffee
-light
-blood

my mouth floods

a story fills my mouth

I swallow.
I spit.
I swallow.

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