Pop My Ears

We don’t talk a lot about ears, do we?
They’re seen as simply the masses of flesh attached to the sides of newly
Formed heads at birth
Not seen in most respects as something of worth and yet
I find myself thinking about my ears everyday
And when someone asks me what one thing I can’t live without is, they might expect me to say
Love, or books, or the safely enclosed nooks that I find in the corners of buildings
And I half expect myself to say something along those lines before I have to pause and listen to a bell ring
These organs that sit so comfortably under and behind my temples
Are sensitive, And I’ve noticed that even when the sounds are gentle
I must stop for a moment and go through that same motion
I pop my ears
It may seem strange, but I need the sounds to be clear
Because I am nothing without the notes and pitches and music that I find being composed on intercity sidewalks
And the ramblings and mumblings I notice in early morning re-runs of night talk
Shows, where there are an awful lot of meatless roasts
The kind that ears were made to live off of
That I was made to live off of

I can hear the secrets that are whispered through cardboard walls
The last breaths of sentences that were never born at all
The inflections of our own introspections that are numb on our tongues
But louder than any shout in our minds
If I stop talking now there might be the twinkle of a chime
And though all of these observations seem basic
There is one truth, I cannot fake it,
That without these ears I would be more than deaf
So I pop them from time to time to remind myself that these ears of mine
Are not toys, are not tools,
They are a means of survival, they are for more than eavesdropping and the spreading of libel
They are the source of my understanding,
My dreams and my outstanding
Debts, regrets, excuses and respect
For my elders and my littles

Though the pages in these unused mathematics textbooks may become brittle
And the fur on these coats may be faux and the grasp of a loved one may be nothing more than their own lie of security
Sounds cannot lie
Organs cannot cheat
They’re made of involuntary muscles, see?
Because no one can control them and so no one can pervert them and so they
Are my preferred method of being alive
Being alive for one man means to read and for the woman I passed on the sidewalk as the car blinkers clicked past it means to never let go of that song that saved her life when she was seventeen going on suicidal
And for me
It means
To have
My ears.

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