3.Avatar Review
     A Review of Poetry, Prose, and Art - Summer 2001

Speaking Of Talking

Poems by Paula Grenside

I sought words through fear of being
alone when he leaned back in the leather
armchair. He puffed on his pipe,
kept it between teeth to bite truth—
nicotine on brittle moustache
chuckles sucked by cough—

And I sought words to cover lack
of knowledge, exhaled disarrayed alphabet,
laid it on his hands,
lines sunk in paper skin,
on blue eyelids' rhythmic
flickers—his smiles
periods to my nonsense—

I did not seek words when his eyes dotted,
dashed— Hey, do not look at me
as I stand naked in the wind—

I heard him giggle
and followed echoes outside,
looked up to see
him melt in the sun—
Thoughts no longer caged
by words hummed the tune
I had learned from his lips' quiet water.

© Copyright 2004 Avatar Review.