blackbirdonline journalSpring 2009  Vol. 8  No. 1
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ends with pursed lips and a puff of air
              but starts with a closed mouth
      and vibrating throat

a humming of our first note of ourselves—
              our objective case:
      feed me, love me, watch me

then the subjective: a narrow column
              of impulse and irreverence
      startled perhaps by the hissing

in the middle of the word’s path. See
              the curved aching
      toward the whisper of—him? her?

In most other words, the two—
              placed next to each other—
      fuse, shushing our objections.

But this word is cleaved neatly in half. The second
              half is happiness abbreviated: 
      not the beginning

of pleasure and then a wrong turn
              but rather a wrong turn
      into sudden sweet happiness

that catches in your throat  end