She Resolves to Control Her Mouth

She Resolves to Control Her Mouth
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audio: She Resolves to Control Her Mouth
audio of Rebecca Foust's poem, She Resolves to Control Her Mouth

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She Resolves to Control Her Mouth

Sometimes they eluded her tutelage
and came flying out: snakes, lizards, toads,
words that spoke themselves.  Like “Cotswold Cottage,
my ass, how ersatz!” That time, thank God,

her hostess had assumed she was praising cheese
and merely wanted to know whether she
might buy some, too. But It was worse, far worse
right after her friends had been to see

their dermatologists. “Tennis balls
in tube socks!” she wanted so badly to blurt,
“Can’t you see it?” No.  Not at all,
it seemed, no, not at all. Sometimes it hurt,

the endless re-swallowing of reptilian bile,
but she managed. She mastered the art. For a while.