Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mouth

No one hears what I’m saying.




When I want to speak, I open my mouth. I have one, framed by two lips. Everyone calls lips red, but they aren’t when you look at them. They’re fleshy colored. Not nearly as interesting as people pretend they are. What’s the point of lips anyway? Besides kissing, I mean. What else can I use them for? Why not have the edges of our mouths flow directly into being the skin on our faces? And why can’t

When I want to speak, I open my mouth. I have one, framed by two lips. Somewhere in my throat I feel my vocal chords contracting. I wonder what they look like. I’ve seen the ugly, wet, pink tissues in pictures my choir teacher shows me, but I don’t think that’s what they really are. Instead I like to imagine they are a thousand violin strings. And somewhere there is a little conductor, raising his white hands, looking at the symphony about to play. You know the sound that a symphony makes when the musicians tune their instruments all at once? The note that starts small and then grows bigger and bigger until you lose yourself into it, into the basses and the trumpets and the violins and the horns

When I want to speak, I open my mouth. I have one, framed by two lips. Somewhere in my throat I feel my vocal chords contracting. Then the hum of words begins, forced out by my breath. The world record for holding your breath is 17 minutes and 4.4 seconds. But that could be just another internet lie. How do you starve yourself for that long? Maybe our lungs are small in comparison to the rest of us. But without them, we die. They aren’t expendable. A blue whale’s lung is big enough that, if you wanted, you could stand inside. So are the chambers of its heart. I wish my heart was big enough for the world to stand inside. Sometimes I think it is, but then I look down at it, and realize it is only the size of my fist. I can’t hold the world in my fist. I can’t hold anything when I make a fist, it

When I want to speak, I open my mouth. I have one, framed by two lips. Somewhere in my throat I feel my vocal chords contracting. Then the hum of words begins, forced out by my breath. I shape the words with my tongue. They are like wet clay. Malleable, fresh, tricky and messy but worth it if I spin them right. God created men from clay, I heard. I create from clay. And I said, “let there be light,” and there was light, but not really. Because I can’t make miracles from mud. I’m just a me. I don’t even really make words from clay. I make pots, sometimes, but they come out lopsided, or they break in the kiln, or I forget to glaze them and they are forever colorless and rough and dull and then

When I want to speak, I open my mouth. I have one, framed by two lips. Somewhere in my throat I feel my vocal chords contracting. Then the hum of words begins, forced out by my breath. I shape the words with my tongue. My teeth click together. I’m not supposed to grind them, but clicking should be okay. Everyone clicks. So if I do it’s not really my fault. What would be my fault is if I clicked them onto something, on purpose, and sliced it clean and two. Maybe something like a piece of gum, or a string, or even a hand. When I was little, so little I don’t even remember, I bit my sister’s hand and held on until she bled. Mom had to drive her to the hospital for stitches. She says it was a long time ago, and doesn’t matter, but sometimes I look at the weird, curvy scar the stitches left on her otherwise perfect, white hand. They raised skin is too pink to go with those slim fingers attached to the manicured nails. I wish little me hadn’t bitten. I took away the prettiest part of her. Her

When I want to speak, I open my mouth. I have one, framed by two lips. Somewhere in my throat I feel my vocal chords contracting. Then the hum of words begins, forced out by my breath. I shape the words with my tongue. My teeth click together. And finally, finally I get to say it, finally it happens, and everything is in place and I cry, “ .”





No one hears what I’m saying.

1 comment:

Me! said...

Damn, Emma.... Just... Wow. You've totally outdone yourself. I am highly impressed and in love with "Mouth".