The mouth works all its life to spit a vowel—
some long sound with feeling fenced in
by the sharp stops of a few consonants, a howl
and a pen to keep it tame, a calm din
that won’t drown out the life it tries
to say, but won’t deny, either, that hell
is the sound we’re born making, the cry
in the womb, which we tell
and tell—too much, of course—
in the hope of exhausting it. Stated plain,
there is no other subject—rejoice, remorse,
repress—all words stand for pain.
Over and over I say—what else can I do?
All words stand for pain. Fuck you.
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2012
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.