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Mouth: To Say


To say a word, we put it in our mouths.
       It may roll between the teeth
or hum on the palate. Love, after all, starts
       on tongue against teeth and ends on lips.
To communicate once meant to take communion.
       I take the wafer into my mouth:
speech. Silence as it melts on my tongue.
       Your speaking hums in your chest
when my ear is to it. There's a wasp nest
       under my porch. They fly home at dusk,
but you know how to suss them out.
       And in my kitchen, plaster cracks on
one discolored wall. Is it water damage?
       Is the house settling? You put your hand
on my wall, say It doesn't look like water
       (water, which begins on pursed lips).
The cracked pipe in the wall seals up.
       The glass of water we share is cold.
You kiss my mouth, which tastes like your mouth.


Lisa Ampleman

Full Cry
National Federation of State Poetry Societies Press


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