Dialect of a Skirt
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.