I measure out words,

weigh the syllables,

stroke the consonants, smoothing

them into a perfect fit.

Vowels are the glue and improperly

placed, words will scatter when

my head is turned, the

poem will lose its form and become

a mass of black ink scratches

at the bottom of a page.

Each round hump must be

examined for symmetry. Each

sound must fit the dance.

Each drop must spill coolly into

the saucer, on cue.

by Cher Bibler