Of the Mouth*


Her lips part slowly, and her mouth sings

Guttural Gaelic. Her shouldered red hair

Shines with the wooden stage, her cream skin swings,

Pale against the strong beat. The hall is bare

With watching eyes. Hers are the same blue

You see in veins carrying dark blood

To patient feet, pointing arms. She opens her body

To welcome the rushing music’s flood.

Song inhales us into itself, we fall

Upwards through waters that taste like love,

Like her and the solitude of her wild call.

Holding a last note, her voice plummets

Back to air and speech, back down like a stone

To what gives us life and renders us alone.


*Puirt a Beul, Gaelic for “mouth music”