At first I felt my head was too much with me. Take it off, I heard a
voice say. Your head, you got to take it off. So I closed my eyes & took
my head by the ears & turned. It came off easy. My head. Like all my
life it was waiting for me to unscrew it. So I sat it down quietly beside
me. &this allowed my mouth — which all before had been sewed
shut — to open & sing. What have I to dread? What have I to fear? &
my hips, torso, & upright arms trembled at that sudden a cappella. I
want to thank you for hearing this small trickle in a sea. I am trying
to steady myself as I wait. There’s a bored shark coloring the water.
There’s a girl cradling her head somewhere. She is lost & someone has
left her at the shore without a song, without a whistle. There is only
her blood & the blood of her siblings. There is only the sun like the
glimmer of the State’s buttons erasing the girl. You have placed her in
my throat. & now I can reattach my head. & the girl is inside me; she
can move now as my body moves, my neck, my head nodding.
“Sound — Part 4: Notes on Polyphony” from Hemming the Water Copyright © 2013 by Yona Harvey. Reprinted with permission of Four Way Books.