Poetry by Melanie Browne

The acoustics of sneezes

I measure the acoustics of sneezes.

Its true, I do. You are probably saying

to yourself, that’s mighty strange!

And you know, I have to agree.

It’s not a fetish, just so you know.

It’s not like I’m out there watching

people sneeze, their noses red,

The honking and then their eyes

shut tight, sometimes nearly

wrecking the cars they drive,

or bumping into each other on the street.

Sometimes they look quite dizzy

for a minute or two, they have to

sit down, drink some hot Toddy,

wait for the neurons in their brains

to collect and pool back into

all of the right places.

It’s not a fetish like that.

I’m not out there collecting sneezes

and maybe the God bless you’s that

follow. I’m only collecting that one

thing and that one thing only,

The acoustic of sneezes, the pitch

of the squeals, the moanings

and sighs that sometimes come after.


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