on the lake of dropped calls
we decide to build a raft out of an ear.
you say, "we can use yours."
cut it off slowly
with a paring knife.
all the words i wanted to say
spill out the side of my skull.
drifting leaf-like across the water.
you dare me to go over board.
i have already gone farther
than i want to. isn't that
what we're told love is about?
finding a threshold in someone else
& seeing if it will give.
dipping two fingers in the surface
everything rings--not like bells
but like sirens. like a full plate
falling & the owner eating its contents
from the dining room floor.
i am starving & haven't eaten
for seven years. you tell me
there is a shake shack on the other side
of the lake & so we paddle
with our hands. pushing the ear
& ringing. thrum that travels
from wrist to elbow. windchimed children.
dream of devouring anything.
planks of wood. handfuls of seaweed.
the stones at the bottom of the lake.
i think, surely there must be something
to put in my mouth. again you suggest
the water as if there were
ever an option as to whether or not
i would drown. the water comes
like sky--endless & enduring.
the voices of pleasure & pleas.
a "hello?" chorus. where have you gone
oh where have you gone. tell me
this is not over. call me again.
press the phone to your ear
& eat me. i make it to shore &
you are there before me smiling
& chewing. you ask what i heard down there.
i cannot bring myself to tell you
so i say, "nothing but your voice."