squaking, screeching, and facial muscle manipulation
survival is dependent on creating a voice so unique it can be recognized by the loved ones in an instant.
It’s got to be something deeper
something desperate to be remembered
My mouth spit-shines syllables ’till they sparkle
till my voice is the only one like it.
This is not a speech impediment
My voice is an instrument, my stutter its greatest symphony
My speech, composed by God
I study sociology and I stutter
I like tzatziki and I stutter
the staccato of repetition is an unpredictable percussion,
the struggle for every syllable a reminder,
that I have not always had this voice, this stage, a gift of spotlights.
in being understood the first time.
In breath, calm and measured,stripping speech of nuance
In passing as fluent to spare someone else embarrassment.
the word invented only to describe me,
I have let it sit heavy in my throat,
A tool of betrayal.
I am a poet and I stutter
I call my parents and I stutter
I love you and I stutter
I love myself and I stutter.
It is the only thing which never lies
It is how I know I still have a voice,
I’m still being heard, I’m still here.
When I sound like this, I know my loved ones can find me
This is what I sound like when I speak for myself
This is what I sound like,
This is what I sound like!