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The Organ of Corti

June 7, 2011 7 comments

by Jamie Houghton

Wanting sleep
dwarfed by this
wanting.
The radio flyer man
has finished pulling his home
across the city and sleeps
an extension of his wagon shell
dreaming his wagon dreams
in newspaper and leather jackets.

Only taxis circle the city
choosy with signs
sure of all streets
nosing their way
through the fog.

The inner ear’s instrument
Cochlea, Snail
Organ of Corti
where sound sleeps
where the fronds move in fluid
where electricity paints
for the brain.

I blame the innocent bone
for capturing the hum
of the highway
for pulling sounds
accepting silence
the unsaid rendered
in white
on white.

I sleep
and dream that 7-11
is a lighthouse
more than a lighthouse
a promise
an open door all night.

I dream I am the last pedestrian.


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Jamie Houghton is a poet who lives and teaches in Bend, Oregon. She believes in using both sides of her brain, and is known for making the best key lime pie in town.

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