poem index

Dialect of a Skirt

Erica Miriam Fabri
The young girl wanted a new voice. After all, people got
new things every day. A new hip, a new nose, a new set
of suspenders. She adored the consonants that landed
like wooden shoes. She loved the type of L-sounds
that made a mouth drool from the back of the tongue
to the front. She practiced her new voice into seashells,
tin cans, caves. She gave her first performance quietly,
into the ear of her sleeping dog. She could tell by his snorting
that his dreams were of fat tree trunks and black, truffle-filled
soil. Later, she drove to the local gas station and used her new
voice to ask for a pack of cigarettes. She wasn't wearing a bra,
but the attendant didn't notice. He was too busy listening
to the way sound seemed to drip out of her mouth
as she said the word, Camel.

From Dialect of a Skirt by Erica Miriam Fabri. Copyright © 2010 by Erica Miriam Fabri. Used by permission of Hanging Loose Books.

Erica Miriam Fabri