Matt Davis

Say It Out Loud Now

now it’s true that
i’ve borrowed my best lines
from the library of my father’s throat

(but he took his best lines
from off the shelves between his father’s silence)

whenever i speak,
i hear his voice

whenever i cough,
i taste his cigarettes. 

my birthmark is tongue-tied,
a phantom limb described in palimpsest. 

say it out loud now: 

when young,
i would hang on every word.
now i grow to ignore his phone calls. 

then again,
he only calls to tell me

that a voice
is like a century
a hotel room
the floor of the sea.

one more thing
that belongs to everyone.


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