Trace by Compression, by Jeff Burt

Trace by Compression
by Jeff Burt

I am removing nails to let the rain through the roof
so the drops slip through shingles and slats
and I can make a pond where drought-winnowed migrating herds gather
to show how arresting one note is like water on your lips.

I am looking for ways to keep the propagation of sound continuing,
an eternal sine wave that captures all your words
into an echoing tone that continually wakens my anvil and stirrup,
like the ring a sculptor makes pounding with her hammer to shape
one metal against another, or the frequency of a bell rung to welcome
prodigals home, to show how one vowel from your lips
perpetually resounds off the folds and creases of my brain.

I am looking for ways to capture the atmospheric storm
of horses on your tongue that gather and stampede with satchels full of letters,
ponies I want to corral with thunderous hoofs sending
wild and captivating Morse code I would read the rest of my life
to show how exhilarating phrases charge forth from your mouth.

I am telling you why when you recite the atlas and cache of your heart
I must close my eyes and place my lips against your lips
to trace by compression what I cannot understand by sound.

Jeff Burt lives in California with his wife and works in mental health. He has poems in Rabid Oak, Eclectica, Williwaw Journal, and Cold Mountain Review.

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