KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Poem: 103 words
+ Audio Reading

Conch Shells as Conveyances

by Roy Beckemeyer
 
Mere air, these words, but delicious to hear.
—Sappho

Appetizer whispers
whet your wish
for more. Your seashell
ears long to nuzzle conch,
to close the feedback circuit
between ocean and air,
to lure out murmurs:
lush, smooth pink organic
shapes that bound
the infinitesimal space
between reverberations,
vertebrate to invertebrate,
cartilage curl to calcium
whorl, columellar fold
to cymbal curvature,
words-real or words-white-
noise, words whisked
from the world-without,
words born of spiraled
womb gone to nest in coiled
chamber, words smooth
as custard, ovoid as quail’s eggs,
whipped cream words comprised
of the merest wisps of air.

Publisher’s Note: Epigraph refers to “a Sapphic inscription on a long-stemmed cup in an Athens museum“ as described by Edward Hirsh in Mere Air, These Words, but Delicious to Hear at Poetry Foundation (23 January 2006).

 

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