breathing devices

for T.C.

somebody said a man becomes child

& leans like the tower & crumbles†††† †† or falls

because††††††††††††††††† the bathroom †† is another country

because††††††††††††††††† you find it††††† †† easier to crawl

because††††††††††††††††† your answers are filtered

through the thick ears of children

and your retinue that of a king

somebody said you were forgetting the common tongue

current advice

is to scream in the ear with the wires

scream slow†††††††††††† lean lowmake it

simple enough pierce your

weak drum with dull cries

but you remember all language

you know what goes on

the tongues like kites twist

and dip and fork about you

& you wait for them to land

and be legible

somebody is maybe right†††† the words

are stuck under your liver†††† your teeth†††††

have long since retired††††††††††††††††† you have

tubes screwed in†††††† every available option

for breathing and feeding and telling

the time

you are a presence of blankets

you are a to-be-washed pan

you are a glitter of pipes and a

wringing of hands

the breathing devices take place

on your body ††††††††† the battery power

is running out fast ††† the limits of speech

are mostly internal†††† your words are

too brittle for air

somebody says i donít think

he can hear us

somebody says iíll have more

than your share

somebody whispers†† his will

is his own††††††††††††††† &somebody sees you

are no longer there

copyright 1999, g.chao.all rights reserved.