your words reverberate,

timpani-like and tinny

shaky shudders entrusted to me,

they are notches beside the

love-twined initials on the lovelorn

birch bark. i count them like tallies,

and also, the echoes.

there are so many that in evening

the bats' ears are pitched like tents

open to catch your sounds

the ones that won't leave me.

they won't leave me.

oh Echo, i heard her flesh-torn voices

in darkened mouths and we spoke

in cavern-hollows, together.

but i stood surrounded as

you contained me and left me

with your words (and

none of my own) and now i can

only reiterate.

you always

have the last word,

you always

have the last word.