Stories by Dorianne Laux


Every sound tells a story. Listen
to the bee’s rasp and chisel, the gold wood
just before the bough is sawn through.
Listen to the man on the street
who calls you and your friend emeralds
before he’s swallowed back into the park.
Listen to water from the tap, its long journey
finished in a gush of song, to the old woman
wedged into a bench, her plush black cough.
The car alarm screams IseeIseeIsee
The train whistle moans IknowIknow.
A couple sinks down in the dining car’s
torn velvet seats- her bracelets clashing,
his silver tooth flashing– as the flatware
rattles and the windows groan in their bolts
and sashes, as the backsides of towns rumble
past dressed up in graffiti and trash, diamonds
of chainlink pinging back pellets of rain.

                – Dorianne Laux
                   from Words Dance 12, Fall 2008