The Jawbone Sings by Peter Bogart Johnson

The Jawbone Sings

What does the jawbone know?
there was persistence of experience
it moved up and down
and was fine to be alone at a party
once in awhile it clenched
and became absorbed with itself
because of some external pressure
then it was like a certain man
trying to hold a car up with his hands
while someone crawled out from under it
The jawbone moved up and down
and then at a particular moment
it moved away from itself
it moved away from itself and let go of itself
and became something very different
the jawbone got up from the ground
and tongued itself
small hisses and pops and sounds
like an engine seizing and falling
out of itself on a road up a steep mountain
it became a multiple of itself
and that is not right
the jawbone was aware
that it is suddenly part of a mouth
and the mouth is crying
the mouth is being held and wrapped
and covered in gauze
the jawbone suddenly doesn’t know
how to move up or down
then to sit in a waiting room and let things happen
the jawbone sits at the edge of a space
that does not use itself
it feels cold metal against itself
and the jawbone is still
it feels things pass over it and forgets itself
how to easily move up and down
and rest and laugh at a party
falling forward forever

Peter Bogart Johnson

Peter Bogart Johnson‘s work has appeared recently in No, Dear, Prelude, So & So, and Atlas Review. He lives and works in New York.