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Tim Seibles - 01 - Big Mouth - Poetry

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Published on Jul 11, 2007

Tim Seibles reading his poetry at the 18th Annual Literary Festival at Old Dominion University October 1995

Big Mouth

A few nights ago
you slept
with your mouth open
and the moon
slipped inside

because you have
such a big mouth
and now
your eyes glow
like a jack-o-lantern's.
Now

every evening
when you look out
the sparrows rally
and the plants lean
toward you
as though sensing
another dawn.

Don't try to explain. Imagine
even tonight, the trillion eyes
left heavy and moonless. Don't
look at me. You slept
with your big mouth
open
thinking you had
every right
and the moon snuck inside.

Already
the broken sky
has started chewing on stars
and soon the night
will be dressed
like a widow.

Don't say anything. Don't
apologize. Don't think
of all the lovers
by an otherwise moonlit lake
fondling each other
clumsily in the blackness
getting nowhere
because of you and your
big mouth.

Be glad
that your head glows. Be glad
that you'll never
need a flashlight
if your car dies
on a country road. You
slept with your mouth
open, open

like the bell of a tuba
only bigger much bigger
and the moon
just couldn't
resist so be happy
for that inner light. Be happy
and shut-up shut-up
shut-up.

-- Tim Seibles

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