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Ann Townsend

(1962 / Pennsylvania / United States)

From His Car


he called me twice, filled the line
with his particular human sound,
irritating, yes, and meaningless

in the details. Hundreds
of vowel-consonant blends
were required in order to say it:

what pie he ate, how the office
grew cold in time with his typing,
how he wished to touch me,

and where. Pull over, I said.
Driving in these circumstances
could not be prudent. Breath

was the conduit through which
his voice passed, and eased,
and evaporated. Sibilants, plosives,

the workings of his tongue and teeth,
his jaw, what he said, how he said it -
living in the stream of it,

letting down the gate I raise
for every voice but his - oh Ann, he said.
Even that swept over me.

Submitted: Thursday, August 07, 2014

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