[The title of this post is taken from Adrienne Rich’s poem “Diving into the Wreck.”]
T.V. sounds reverberate from the living room:
loud, energetic, open-mouthed voices. Must be
a commercial. I’m trying to nail down a metaphor
to stand for the sound of her voice
(escaping through a mouth stitched shut against
crying) on the other end of the line.
And I think:
That’s a lot of prepositions.
And I remember:
to the log, over
the log, around the log,
under the log,
across the log, for
the log, with the log,
about the log.
And the more I think of the word log,
the more the word becomes
not a word signifying a thing
but a strange-sounding noise
like when you say
over and over and over and over until
it becomes a foreign sound and
it’s strange to think that the sound
because it makes no sense
And then you try emphasizing
different parts of the word:
Or you say it different ways:
yourname. YOURNAME. Yourname?
But you can never separate
the sound so far from its meaning
that it won’t snap back like
a rubber band.
tragedy. tragedy. tragedy. TRA-
gedy. TRA-gedy. tra-GE-dey. tra-ge-DY.
tra-ge-DY. Tragedy? Tragedy. TRAGEDY!
That’s what we did (my friend and I
on the phone).