Just as somewhere
there’s someone who never skis
but feels he’s slipping through life
because he’s attached to the word
somewhere far inland someone
has adopted bathygraphy
as her own--
in part as the word
to rely on in truck-heavy traffic
or during those ever more frequent meetings
with the new supervisor
who crowds too close
or for the half-hour of her Sunday visits
with her silenced mother
in that suffocating room.
It was the sound
that she liked at first--
that, indeed, distracted her
from making sure of its meaning.
Then the kiss of it whispered--
so breathy—across her lips.
But now she repeats it in her head
mostly because it’s the word--
that helps her trust
that, maybe, there’s some difference
between her brain and mind.
William Aarnes has two collections of poems--Learning to Dance (1991) and Predicaments (2001)--both published by Ninety-Six Press. His poems have been published by such magazines as Poetry, FIELD, Seneca Review, The Literary Review, and anti-poetry. Recent poems have appeared online at Sunset and Silencers, Umbrella, and nth position.