Saturday poetry pick: What Sound Does It Make

The poems in this week’s poetry pick, What Sound Does It Make by Erin Malone, starkly, quietly, lovingly questions everything–especially the roles of wife and mother, especially love.

Consider these lines from “Directions“:

Stranger, one whole side
of my face is sliding.
I can’t smile right. A hillside, this body

isn’t what I thought. Like a foreign country

Already, I am haunted and I can’t stop reading. Or there’s the “knobby baby” in “And Then“:

In the windows we were drawn:
I held my knobby baby
in dawn’s automotive light.
A fleet of cars sailed by

I want to show you the whole poem. I want you to read the whole poem (click the link!).

Finally, I’ll share these images from the beginning of the title poem, “What Sound Does It Make”:

There are pieces everywhere, splinters
like the glass she shattered against the sink
just now. She keeps an eye

on the baby roaring in the corner,
practicing his lion. She keeps an eye
on the floor, diamonds

letting blood from her heel.
Prints litter the kitchen.

I think it’s those “diamonds // letting blood from her heel” that stay with me, and the repetition of “She keeps an eye” and the taut compression, the tension between the everyday and the scary places are hearts and minds go even when we don’t want them to.

I couldn’t find that poem online, but you can get the chapbook for ten bucks from Concrete Wolf Press.