[ToC]

 

UNDER THE PRATTLE

Jed Myers

 

 

God help me, I hide in my skin
disguise. And my words all forgery—      
may I not be severely fined.

Lies, filched idioms, rags  
tied into kite tails to steady
my rice-paper diamonds in the sky—

all I've provided I've plagiarized.
I’m less real than the gray gull
who openly shatters the shell

to steal the creature inside—I mean
to dangle a morsel, feed you a line
to lodge in your wish-flesh. For this

am I damned? We're some kind of kin,
and you’ve left your window open.
Your unfenced garden invites

my trespass. Your trellis incites
my sin. I'll climb in, you unbutton
my herringbone vest, press

your ear to my chest, and listen—
under the prattle out of my lips,
a rumble, a depth, like the ocean's.

 

 

 

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"Under the Prattle" speaks from a place of fundamental humility. Or is it inescapable guilt? It acknowledges that my desires shape my actions and self-representations toward the fulfillment of my wishes, such that I am suspect as a manipulator. The poem goes on to observe that this must be true of you, the other, as well, and it then goes further, in the closing discovery, to recognize the authentic unknowable nature that is the source of our desires. My hope is that the experience of the poem can be a freshened affirmation of our natural longings.