OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 4

Jory Mickelson

Undulation

 

If all is longing or

longed for then

the tongue—

 

             slab of flesh,

muscle at the portico

(ever after

 

the shaping of

             speech, some

invisible signal, at

apex

 

near the roof,

or unlatched at the back

of the throat, where

 

the glottal, a swallowed

             dove extends

into the world,

                           into

 

the amplified choir,

the city) radiant

waves of air, all speech

 

             and vibrato, all

radio, unseen oration—

is unrequited

 

conversation. Empty tone,

             solid bell, the tongue

rung dully

                    after

 

the phone’s murmurs

are cradled, handfuls of earth

falling further into earth.

Jory Mickelson is a queer writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus.net, Southwest American Literature, Vinyl Poetry, The Florida Review, Superstition Review, The Collagist, The Los Angeles Review, and other journals in the United States, Australia, and the UK.  He is the recipient of an Academy of American Poet’s Prize and is Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry. His most recent chapbook Slow Depth was published by Argus House Press.  You can follow him at www.jorymickelson.com.