Hiding inside my mouth

are words I try not to say.

They hip hop their way,

like drum majorettes

in high-heeled boots

twirling silver batons

before a kaleidoscopic

parade of monkey-chatter.

A flock of swallows

flies in V formation.

I try to let them pass,

as they are followed

by the mournful sound

of Scottish Highlanders

honoring fallen comrades.

From now on, I vow to only

wear shirts with epaulets.

I dream of voices of family

and friends I have lost.

Are the crashing cymbals,

trumpets, and bass drums

summoning me?

I listen to the howling growl

of silence until stillness descends.

I stare at the moon,

searching for my original face.