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.
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