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About this Poem 

"The most important things sometimes happen in the lightest moments. And if nothing else important happens, the lightness can strengthen bonds between the people present. So also, I hope, for the writer and the reader."
—Jordan Davis

How to Be a Lawyer

Jordan Davis

My father taught me how to play the beer bottle. It was Schlitz, and I was three or four. "You tuck your lower lip under, then blow air over the top of the bottle." I produced a tone, and we laughed. He paused. "You can make a different sound if there's less in the bottle," he said, motioning for me to take a sip. I did, then blew another note. We laughed again.

"Do you want to learn something else? Here's how to be a lawyer. Raise one eyebrow." I did so. "Good. Now hold it for a few seconds, turn toward the jury, and say 'I see.'"

Copyright © 2013 by Jordan Davis. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on August 30, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Jordan Davis. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on August 30, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Jordan Davis

Jordan Davis

Born in 1970, Jordan Davis is the author of a poetry collection and many reviews and essays about poetry

by this poet

poem
I tell you I will not make any more raids,
The elusive going-elsewhere motherboard 

An electrical sound marking stretches 
Afternoon is carving into the wood of us,

That's our modern way of saline allegory—
To make gods of times of day. I won't 

Cooperate with this love that steals itself 
Into a brand name,
poem
The savor of mango is unlike
Toothsome papay. My son takes
My hand and brings me
Into the classroom; Fluffy
Is absent and unremarked-upon

And in his place, two butterflies
Use tentatively in a sentence.
One, he explains, is a boy and
The other one lays the eggs,
I counted the dots, is a girl.

Why do boys not
poem
Having a child changes you. For example,
A salmon's face extends forward, a giant underbite
Emerging, and then there's the matter
Hanging off their sides. I am proud to be
An American. Also, I'm proud to be a Protestant,
And wasn't whiteness a smart choice.

When people complain to me about Spielberg's