by Rachel Sudbeck
They make you recite things
Like Sally Sells Something,
Thally Thells Thomething
And try to explain the mechanics of sound.
Th tongues go between teeth
S tongues just barely pass behind them.
Just let a little hiss of breath escape
don’t dwell on it
The letter lasts for less than a second
don’t dwell on it.
Pretend you’re a snake
Pretend you’re a balloon
Pretend you’re just a puff of air
dissipating into the clouds of steam
escaping from deep-set volcanoes
beneath swirling seas
where swordfish swim in silvery circles
and the soft-set sulfur snakes off
in smoky streams.
Look at this diagram
Read from this story
These are the exact mathematics
Behind the letter S.
But for God’s sake don’t dwell on it
Don’t let your mouth get twisted into knots
All over one letter.
Rachel Sudbeck is just some chick who splits her time between her home in Omaha, Nebraska, and her education at Western Kentucky University. She is currently studying Creative Writing and Broadcast Communications, and overall things seem to be going okay on that front.