throat grenades

I'm at the point now when sometimes my voice is the only thing that gives me away

"Hey beautiful" "You sitting here all alone?" "Lemme buy you a drink"

I nod, I smile, I demure, they flash back

(but) when I say "No thank you" or "Sure thing"

My lips might as well have parted to the sound of a fire alarm or a demon-shriek

"what the fuck"

a quick shuffle back.

"jesus christ"

a contorted grimace.

"yo dude that's man"

and a wordless farewell.

sometimes I wish I could open my mouth just to tree-top bird call

just to siren song

just to angel choir

sometimes I wish I could dumbfound them from beauty, send them peddling back in awe, not disgust

other times I wish I could part my lips and then part them wider and then part them wider still

and offer a response to their questions by swallowing them whole

let them gasp silently as they witness their last moments flashing across the back of my throat

like a guttural, drive-in movie nightmare

but really I wish

the world didn't turn my vocal chords into unpinned grenades

that it could countenance women being heard as well as seen

that heaven could open their ears when lips part like the sea

let them wash themselves pure in the angel choir in me

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