— Casey FitzSimons
Its long vowels sucked you
into the world, hard consonants
spanked your butt. Its last syllable rises,
something wispy from your
life in the womb, evaporating.
If I say it behind you, your fringe
of nape hair twists
like a school of fish against
your collar. It travels the space
between us, the sound. You turn your ear
to messages from my mouth, lift your chin
for my hand under your jaw.
Only so many times will I say it
into the air, before it comes
unscrewed, fragile contraption slowly brittle,
one day just fails, parts dangling.
From its pieces, no answer.