Handles and Spouts Applaud You

February 28, 2008
By Christine Stoddard, Grinnell, IA

Shatter the china with your sorrowful bellow---
the one that grows in your stomach and seeps through
your heart, out your mouth from those giant red lips,
framing the teeth that refuse to smile
after all the pain, all the blood spewing from your gums...
your head bashed against the wall far too many times
until your eyes rolled completely backwards,
pupils facing the pinks and grays of your brain

And still we hear you as you continue with your words,
uttering half-syllables into the hot, sweating air
heavy with your groans, heavy with your anguish
as you try to deliver your message for the hundredth round

But, predicting the criticism rumbling in your throat,
we ignore you and leave the room, with teapots for your audience


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