I thought I could taste without eye contact,
could speak you inside, remember my name
from muscle memory, could cease gagging
on your stem to speak a word, spell it out
on my gums. I thought I could spit out
a story, deflower the reed and sing:
I practiced humming while mouthing water.
I mouthed storms, hail pelting holes inside me.
I practiced not barking when you called me
Without hands laid upon it, there was rise.
My face caught in your lap, sweat coruscant
against an evening’s shadowy lilt—wraiths
haunted my gum wail; my throat, lucent girl.
She will make you speak in Tongues, reel her skull.
Jaw unhinged, you between her teeth, she culls.
"Séance" first appeared in Reverie.
Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago, Illinois native. Recently, he won Bloom's inaugural chapbook competition in poetry for his manuscript Bruised Gospels. He is a Cave Canem graduate and received a Bread Loaf work study scholarship in 2011. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, The Southern Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Blackbird and others. Phillip is currently poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry.