May 20, 2008


Written by Alison Stine

Read by Amanda Auchter

They show no signs of finding the food,
though I’ve left it for weeks, though
the winter is rough and a trail of hulls
extends through the garden, and the birds,
which are said to be harbingers of things,
eat from the neighbors. In the yard: the black
seeds. In the telephone mouthpiece: holes.
Each one listens and sucks in speech,
gives to me voice, the ghost of a voice.
In the morning, the suction-cupped feeder’s
slid from the window and splayed untouched
sunflower, hard as words from your mouth.
And now it is a dead mouth, and I think
the soul must be the voice, that which leaves
the body, that which I forgot first: music
ribbon, melody hill. In movies, the detectives
take the phone apart and find miles of curling
wire. The listening device, that sharp-
tongued piece, the bug, the plant, looks out
of place, is pinched between finger and thumb,
held up to light. Then, silence! No one speaks.