LISP

By sam sax
there are more Ss in possession than i remembered /
my name hinges on the S / is serpentine / has sibilance /
is simple / six lettered / a symbol / different from its sign /
sound shapes how we think about objects / the mouth
shapes how sound spills out / how the speaker’s seen /
a sigmatism is the homosexual mystique / my parents
sought treatments / i was sent to a speech / pathologist /
sixth grade / a student / she gave me exercises / i was
schooled / practiced silence / syllabics / syntax / my voice
sap in the high branches / my voice a spoonful of sugared
semen / i licked silk when i spoke / i spilt milk when i sang /
when i sang sick men tore wings from city birds / so
i straightened my sound / into a masculine i / the S
is derived from the semitic letter shin / meaning
my swishiness is hebraic / is inherited / it’s semantic / no
matter what was sacrificed / the tongued isaac / a son
against the stone of my soft palate / still i slipped /
my hand inside my neighbor’s / waistband & pulled back
pincers / sisyphus with the sissiest lips / parseltongued
assassin / sassy & passing for the poisoned sea / now
when i say please / let me suck your cock / i sound
straight / as the still secondhand / on a dead watch.