this incompatibility of sound

you mentioned wavering on the cliff

flowers everywhere there is no chance

of slipping off into the gulf

stars splintering in the coal night

in the randomly packed lava

seeping beneath your head

whenever you attempt to speak

to spit out a word without caution

monosyllabic utterances

a grunt a growl a grumbling

so infinitely distorted

no one walking by could ever discern

the catch the snag the snare


ANDREA MOORHEAD is editor of Osiris and author of several collections of poems, including The Carver’s Dream (Red Dragonfly Press, 2018) and À l’ombre de ta voix (Le Noroît, 2017). Recent translations of Francophone poetry include Night Watch by Abderrahmane Djelfaoui (Red Dragonfly Press) and Dark Menagerie by Élise Turcotte (Guernica Editions). Her French work was featured in Phoenix 23 (Marseille); her English work will be featured in the Autumn 2018 issue of The Bitter Oleander.