Paula Tatarunis



All day they stream past, petitioners
for understanding, accolade, critique.
I read them all, a vast anthology
of jumbled genres on a common theme:
affliction. So I parse, interpret, scan.
I graph dysrhythmias, dysmetrias;
I eavesdrop on caesuras for unsaid
murmurs, gallops, rubs, snaps, flutters, clicks.
The perils of misreading harrow me —
beware the treacheries of metaphor! —
the elephant that squats upon a chest
is not a burning heart or waterbrash.