for Joyce Lee
A voice is a solid thing
One hears as though it were built
Entirely of air. It is substantial
Yet it carves out song from nothing.
A voice is a real thing
We cannot move through, that lives
Separately, and uniquely sings
The air on which it moves.
A voice reminds us of our distance.
A bad voice is all voice.
The good voice glows and lights
The air on which it throws out song
And bites. electrically, the space
In which we stand to hear: it alone
Is real, and clearly moves between us.
The perfect voice is in the mind
And never sings what can be heard;
It has a life its own that brings
The sounds the mind has learned
To the moment of the keenest singing:
Its song is pure imagining.