Syllables by John Grey

Pale light and her face is not her face,
a mask, creased, painted cheeks, indifferent.
Her mouth rakes over sound like garden pebbles.
What I hear is not what she says.
Something grips my hand, but not flesh.
I’m like a desert seeking out the great relief of water.
But these are dry rags rubbing my sere skin.
Her fluids stay corked.
She’ll give me a word because she has plenty.
So I get sympathy, three syllables to die for.


John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in The Lyric, Vallum and the science fiction anthology, “The Kennedy Curse” with work upcoming in Bryant Literary Magazine, Natural Bridge, Southern California Review and the Oyez Review.