the voice of a man who cannot speak

a dry throat that remains dry
even when watered with whiskey

the compulsion
only stirs the sounds
of shadows sliding over gravel

moonlight shuffling in the sand
spirits shaking snow from sage

he seeks to match the treespeak
ancient vernacular
grown by root, soil, and sun

and the lyricism in lightning storms
the sky finding self-illumination
through stinging hail

hearing these ballads
sang before time
he recognizes, perhaps
this is the only music possible

(spring in Park City, 2016)