Volume 3 Number 3


Summer 2005


Jaqueline West

Within my voice is the sound of bones
snapping, torsion of dry joints
grinding cupped sockets.
A fine ear may hear the high pitch of tension
bent before the relieving snap,
or like dice against dice
nubs crushed in a jaw
where wet teeth crack
as the tarsals split.
A mere whisper flays skin
paper-thin from hot flesh.
In my voice is the sound of valves
clogged in thickening drubs
of blood; the drowning fight
to force the silt slugging
dense as lead in the heart.
My scream stops birds dead in midair.
Crows fall to the ground like stones.