The Guitar

I swear he tucked his laughter
inside it for me to find,
scented with soft notes
of the recent past—

like the bottle of aftershave
I unearthed, unopened,
from beneath the sink,
only to breathe
its sharp musk
a few weeks later
as it visited, somehow,
rooms he never did.

I crawl inside
the hollow body,
press an ear
to its uterine walls:
umbilical strings vibrate
against wood & flesh,
tethering me there.
How easy, when muffled,
to mistake a simple strum
for a full-bodied laugh
exploding its way
up the throat.

Ed Doerr is a teacher and the author of the poetry chapbook Sautéing Spinach with My Aunt (Desert Willow Press, 2018). Additional work can be found in Water~Stone Review, Hippocampus Magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, Sky Island Journal, trampset, One Teen Story, and many more.

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