The Eavesdropper
found in a journal, April 2, 2008

by Jane Blue

The smell of orange rind under my fingernails,
the taste of strawberries, destroyed
still life on a black saucer. I ate all the grapes.
Some people are talkers, some are writers.
A murderer left detailed notes of his crime.
He was, unfortunately, a writer. His words
condemned him. Some think
it’s dangerous to commit anything to paper.
Words can’t capture an accent. I’m eavesdropping
on a Texan storyteller. “The cat
was right behind me.” A cougar, a puma,
or her own housecat? The hostage-taker
of the storyteller. Words. I once wrote
that I wanted fewer of them. They fill up the world.
Rumors of war and celebrity gossip.
I am not a good storyteller, nor a good
joke teller. A woman from Ukraine finishes
my joke: What do you call someone who speaks
two languages? Bilingual.
What do you call someone who speaks one?
American.

Jane Blue was born and raised in Berkeley, California and now lives with her husband near the Sacramento River. Her poems have appeared or will appear in many print and on-line magazines, She has taught creative writing at women’s centers, colleges and prisons, and privately.

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