Every Morning I Try
to pronounce a divine name perfectly, knowing
I can’t really say its swallow-swing
or enunciate the syllables a mockingbird
loops in medleys, can’t whisper vowels
of an airplane’s rhyming trail.
Names like that must be repeated
as a flower lets pollen fly. I should mimic
the closed bud’s wise pause.
My human mouth can hardly shape
the million-zinnia alpha letter, let alone
the final plosive dazzle –
but I can hum the consonants
of this green-button day –
and add several bandaged overtones
to the morning-setting moon,
echo two doves speaking
to my dog, who rolls and rolls
on the name’s final Ah.
Since I cannot make that pure sound,
I will get down on the grass and roll with him,
then give the next being I meet
a courteous consonant
dangling an ocean vowel.
first appeared in The Cortland Review (with sound file)