Monty Reid

Recalcitrance

A tiny crustacean has eaten your tongue
so it could install itself where your tongue used to be.

It’s visible to the naked eye should the eye ever be naked.

It’s visible to the recalcitrance of every body
to unlikelihood.

It’s visible to the recalcitrance of the tongue
to absolution.

The foreign power enters every inside.
It functions like a tongue.
It absorbs a percentage of whatever passes through.

Whatever you think of as you
can’t change this.

If you open your mouth
you are whatever sound it makes.


Monty Reid is an Ottawa poet. Among his many books are The Luskville Reductions
(Brick), Garden (Chaudiere/Invisible) and Crawlspace (Anansi). He worked for many
years as the Managing Editor of Arc Poetry Magazine and is currently the Director of
VerseFest, Ottawa’s international poetry festival.