Everyone we listened to had such a gift: if not lightness of tongue, then the language of expansiveness so that we sat, rapt, transfixed in our chairs or as if loosed into the suddenly bright highway of sky beyond the library windows, reeling among the birds that must have said among themselves, What drunken fool just hit me? And what of that gift, that beat of song, restless tattoo that lives beneath the ribcage, wheezing and pleating like a bandoneón in the hands of an itinerant musician? I heard it once and then nothing was the same. Light became the space between the saying of a word and the shape that its sound made, flying in the cave of the throat; became a rain-soaked umbrella, became each quickly vaporizing bead begging to be counted, threaded, tasted, forgiven, fed.


In response to cold mountain (63).

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