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Reading Script

Paula Mendoza-Hanna

Asp coil risen, eats a helix.
Spiral aria hewn by the tongue's
split reed.

A queer threnody whorls
in the wet bore of my throat.

Riven ox scapula
from reddest meat. I am
first lamb born
to surrender

Ink raised. Invoked, the name
spelled backwards.

There, blotted. Tattooed
counterfeit by your hard hand

that presses the nib's tip
through, to thatch and purl
verse—welts—I run the heel
of my palm

across. Thralled, I parse
your glyph. Your obelisk

You: pitched tine to my forked
tune. Between me: You.
Cleft note, and what's spoke.

Paula Mendoza-Hanna

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