The 

Conversationalist 

Michael Meyerhofer 

I'm no good at talking to people
but I'm even worse talking to animals.

 

Whales roll their eyes, giraffes

cock their heads like prom queens,

 

my mere approach causes
the most patient platypus to dive

 

headlong into the gurgling stream.

Sadly, that’s just the beginning.

 

Try as I might, I’m still the guy

whose chatter pissed off the Pleiades.

 

Mountains rebuff my small talk.

Even shadows dodge me at parties.

 

God, if only I hadn’t learned to talk

by wasting hours at the window,

 

my good ear pressed to the glass,

listening to the stammer of rain. 

 

Michael Meyerhofer is the author of four books of poetry, the most recent being What To Do If You're Buried Alive, five chapbooks and two fantasy trilogies. He's been fortunate enough to receive the James Wright Poetry Award, the Whirling Prize, the Liam Rector First Book Prize, and other honors. He also serves as the Poetry Editor of Atticus Review. For more information and an embarrassing childhood photo, visit troublewithhammers (poetry) or wytchfire.com (fantasy).