Main Entry: sot·to vo·ce

Pronunciation: "sä-tO-'vO-chE
Function: adverb or adjective
Etymology: Italian sottovoce, literally, under the voice
1 : under the breath : in an undertone; also : in a private manner
2 : very softly -- used as a direction in music

Thursday, September 02, 2004

commute to a lover

Commute to a Lover

The signal house is a perfect square
of brick and copper drain pipes
patined green from Nor’Easters
that sent station masters rushing
to close windows at exactly
the same moment my train sloshed quickly by
on rims electrical, time enough
to witness this minor struggle
in the slate of late October.

Ivy overgrown viny thing.
Brick thick with scales,
slick and languid as the
monster dipping in and out of
my dreams that ring
with the Edinborough brogue
of my grandmother,
“Esther—Where are you going?”
Her black alsatian pulling
across the wet park grass.

She lights a Rothmans.
Exhales her smoky disapproval