Something Like Symphily

by Thomas Larmore
It can’t be understated how much a mouthful of hourglass sand makes it difficult to speak.
If you check your watch, you’ll realize it too has been some months since you & ____ last spoke.
I read the Internet’s only function is to repackage & show ourselves back to us. This means
I could be anything: a poem, a synthesizer, a definition, a video tutorial, a part of speech.
I spent all night imagining pre-war blues musicians in moldy recording studios, paid primarily
in booze, their only instructions: lean into the diaphragm, wait for the green light, speak.
When it became clear my mother didn’t have much time left, I made two promises:
I’d bury her with my own hands, & also I’d be the first to speak.
I have a matching set of tiny metal men on my bookshelf.
Once a week I polish them, & in exchange, they agree not to speak.
By the end of the century, London was completely electrified, which vocalized
The lamp posts &, in turn, erased any final chance the moon might speak.
If it helps, you can blame my youth or my star sign for my thinking
The Universe’s grand equation really boils down to writing<the act<speaking.
Some mornings even birdsong sounds pre-recorded, by which I mean you’re not the only one
who’s paced the streets in a daze trying to find the original source: some distant set of speakers.