The Man with No Mouth

Michael Bazzett
| poetry


I can’t tell you how happy I am to announce
how happy I am. No, really. I can’t tell you—

I have no mouth, only the skin of my chin
curving up into the twin caverns of a mundane
nose with an uninterrupted blankness beneath.

It is a form of erasure, I’d say, if I could say
anything. Your sense of smell must be quite keen,
said the man on the bus as I stared pointedly away.

It’s not for him to say what’s blessing, what’s curse.
But the truth is I can keep a secret like a stone
& I’ve not lost a friend to anything but a hearse.

Michael Bazzett’s work has appeared in Ploughshares, Massachusetts Review, The Sun, and Oxford Poetry. His debut collection, You Must Remember This, (Milkweed Editions, 2014) won the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, and his verse translation of the Mayan creation epic, The Popol Vuh, is forthcoming from Milkweed in 2017. You can find him online at

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