The tongue forgets. The tongue

recalls only its muscle up, muscle down.

Ruddy rudder, licker. Slobbery cod.

It cannot remember the tweaks of air 

that were once words.

Red carpet, blood bag. What a meat plank.

It devolves to default

again and again, my God, to such frustrating

flatness.

The robbery of what has been is on the tongue:

knowing nothing after it has known all

for a moment, just warmth is left.

I can read this poem out loud.

And after the tongue has known it, too — 

every bend of a phoneme, word, thought,

musicality of my heart — a moment later the tongue 

has released everything, excluding me,

from what was made.


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