i can’t help it, i’ll always
be a romantic
he picks me up in his big truck &
i’ll always be a touch
country, too

when i lived on the oregon coast w the hippies
that lived in a subsidized trailer half the yr &
on the beach in mexico the other,
they used to make fun of this accent that
would show itself like water droplets
ringed in sun, the first morning burn
of light.  out of nowhere, the miracle of clarity
like oxygen translates
not just to words
but words that shape, are shaped
the choice the syllabic resonance or
clip the
back of throat low thwuck
where words like laughs or
cries get stuck

in those days i actually had no sense
for what brought that on, the clean
clear random muck mouth of
my own speech.  he shows up in big
truck, that hair those tattoos
& i would never recognize him from
beach city days on the pier

til, across the diner table from me
they’re there, the words unabashed
as some kind of life giving


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