Performance is all

On reading days
           the poet navigates her work without memory
           or – more accurately – a memory with no true North
           or as a hiker without a map and a big thirst.

On days when the phone is dead
           the poet declaims to the blind screen as if
           by an act of will she can coax a flicker
           of certainly from it.

On weekends
           it is time for remembrances:
           of the first time of another first time          every new time
            the printed paper is a tuning fork
            the faces telling her which way the wind will blow.

On every other day
             she hates her voice when she listens to it
                                                                                                                   she remembers words from earlier drafts
              her poems end too soon
                                                                                       some words contain at their tips [that thing in matches]
              the dictionary under her pillow gives her dreamboats
                                                                               this is not what she means when she says tongue-tied.