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The Soft Hole Is What They Want

2008 December 9
by J. Scott Mosel

The Spaces Inside Your Brain

A dangerous thing, poetry–
the occasional timeout

is proof, just listen:
you can hear the bad ones

mumbling softly, rebelliously–
I will not say bone, I will not say stone,

Until the mother-poet comes to let them out.
She always takes what she will:

misplaced syllable here, alveolar click there–
like death, she waits,

disguised as the young mother,
bringing even the old to the breast

to taste their own demise.
Look for her, at times, in the spaces

the squirrels leave inside your brain
after nesting;

yes, the soft hole is what they want,
for outside it is raining again,

and down below, well,
there are rivers to travel

with just the right orchestral feeling
to make it all seem so swell.

Have you remembered
to click for her?

The squirrels will love you for it,
and when you feel them staring

at the barely visible zipper
around your neckline,

remember to sing a carol or two
and drink a glass of wine,

remember not to touch it,
even though you need to–

so desperate is your desire–
remember not to say it,

for above you they are waiting,
they are listening closely

for any sign of weakness:
what matters

is not what goes in,
but what comes out.

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