familiarity by anne blieszner


three letters rather at the tail

of the alphabet, y almost

slipping over a precipice, gripping the jagged

edges of xs and zs at the end of its train


second to last

a nearly-solitary caboose


dare to say it, and lips crinkle into

an o, are surprised in releasing the u

breathing it into sound waves

letting it hang in

shocked silence, elongated vowels


resonating between the valleys and

canals of recipient ears

resting, murmured, shy


dangling on tenuous strings fastened behind

teeth, as slight insecurity in

employing such an intimate pronoun

threatens to cut them loose and send the word across


the borders


of even a name


and now comes foreign country, the

unexplored and unmapped terrain of

whispering you

before me