Thursday, November 03, 2005



Forty-two percent of American women

belch on command. If you’re like me

and wonder who is doing the commanding

and to what strange end this

gastrointestinal cabal is committed,

then come, sit down beside me

and be my friend. I swear

I won’t yammer long, it will be painless,

even charming when I speak

of joy. There will be no reason

for the capillaries in your face to open in shame.

Because scientists have found

that mice sing miniature ultrasonic arias

to the opposite sex, even

though we cannot hear the birdlike song,

you and I will forget

all about the vast history of human loneliness,

you and I will induct

into the choir of the cricket

and the humpbacked whale,

this common creature singing in silence.

And how we came to this

I am already forgetting,

distracted by hirsute Sinatras

that women in cartoons feared the stark instant

one would emerge

if only to send her screaming to the top of a stool,

nevermind a hunger

for cheese. Here

we are speaking

to the loose ends of existence.

Here we are waiting out the autumn sun.

It was in the news

that I read about

the scientists, who spoke of joy.

Of all things,

this seemed right,

especially when in my head I have

built a store of words

like dacrylphilia,

which is to be aroused by the sight of tears.

By now I’ve said

enough. Tell me

what your name was, before we met, before I knew my own.


Anonymous said...

You have wrapped a such sweet little word web around the tale of mice singing. Thank you!

Paul said...

Thank you.