Podium: Online Literary Magazine > Issues > Issue 9 > Poetry > Phoneme Meets Phoneme: An Allegory




Phoneme Meets Phoneme: An Allegory

Phebe Szatmari

I like to imagine the birth of language,
that moment of recognition

between two hunched-over, grunting
and filthy beings. Were they naked? Was it

springtime, with berries beginning
to show their buds and green sprouting

up everywhere as if to let out
a great sigh? Was it the sigh that created

their sounds? I can see that he and she
or she and she or he and he wanted to be

folded into each other’s arms, and a stippling
of involuntary sensation carved a slow stream

that up ahead would become rapids—
a roar of release—a chorus of surfaces

touching surfaces. And they realized they
would be forced to stand still and listen.

Phebe Szatmari freelance edits, teaches writing and serves as a judge for teen poetry slams. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature at Stony Brook Southampton.