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Ear Examined

Cortney Davis

The doctor tugs the fleshy lobe, pulls up
and back, the canal thereby made straight.
Enter his probing speculum, its light a triangle
on the drum. Pearly, uninformed, it waits
for the otoscope’s puff of air. Like a sheet
snapped by tiny chambermaids, it flaps,
teased by air to test its worth for sound:
those words we long for—a whispered oath, a lie.
A trickster, the ear. Making us believe
what eyes deny or hearts might doubt,
the narrow bones inside like a sparrow’s 
in flight, willing to trust the slightest breeze,
the one that sings Yes! I love you!— 
as if words might mean exactly what was heard.
Oh, the risk, the fragile wing.