Consonants are corpses, stiff
with rigor, badly stacked,
impossible to shove uphill,
but on a struggle till they fall to bits.
Fat vowels are muscled by instead:
woolly, soft, not right,
not worth all the effort –
and when the pressure’s really on
the shape of every bloody sound
can shift, and nothing’s fit
to slip along slow exhalation
or accommodative song.
Then I see your pity in a glance
away, a blush that makes me burn:
between my heart and throat, blocked off,
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