Song

by Amy Roa

“What’s the source of all sound?”
the man with a parasitic twin brother on his chest asked the man with a bouquet of flowers for a head.
They looked strong, and everything they knew they learned from the horseflies and wild boars they kept hidden in the basement.
I wish I could say I dove under the table when I heard chronicles of their wars, but I laughed loudly and hissed.
The effects of a childhood disease left untreated, I explained.
The twin on the brother’s chest kicked back the remains of his beer.
He said, “The way I see it, one side of the brain controls the larynx, then the babbling begins,
then the echoes,
the howling during cold days you spend alone with wolves.
But to talk over long distances, requires the formation of song,
the way a bird hears itself sing.”
My father was the same way,
singing to himself, I thought.
Even when I was hoisted above his shoulders,
on our way to deliver illegal substances,
white powders he said made people feel like the happiest ponies ever born.
The man with a bouquet of flowers for a head
married one of my father’s ex-girlfriends.
I was the flower girl at their wedding.
During the toast
someone pulled a crank on the top of their head
to open a passage in the skull,
revealing an ocean inside,
a pod of dolphins leaping.