Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Rumor

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Rumor

Article excerpt

I'm not making this up.

I heard of a girl once caught it clear across a banquet hall

just from listening to the confections of some confabulator-

well, he was quite a talker-

and like the champagne,

the more she imbibed the more she frothed

until she was so intoxicated by the feeling

that she had to tell somebody

that she wanted to tell everybody.

She needn't have worried.

Like an airborne influenza, word got around.

The more it talked the more it grew

until at last and finally it overwhelmed her.

That's how it is.

In vino veritas, of love she flew.

Such things occur, I know, because

it was talk you took me with,

strange talk and beautiful and full of pity.

As I recall (I don't recall, I am elaborating)

you went to my knees one hundred proof, straight bourbon,

bang straight to my head like backwoods bootleg.

Ever since everything out of my mouth is pure you.

Your words keep flaring up in me like fever,

the stamp of your expression on my tongue

like fog-bound battalion phantoms on an inkpad. …

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