“Epitaph for an Actor” by Paul Hostovsky


He was good at voices.
Accents, affects, rings of things.
A dialect geographer
moving among men’s diphthongs
and their r-droppings,
learning them all
by heart.

He appeared and disappeared,
himself like an r,
leaving one mouth for another, one
place for another, a floater
staying afloat by never
getting down to the heart
of anything.

He was good at voices though.
And faces.
His mouth was the only place
all the voices and faces
met. His mouth was a kiss. It was
many kisses.



Paul Hostovsky has new poems appearing or forthcoming in Free Lunch, New
Delta Review, Bryant Literary Review, Visions International, Nebo, Slant, FRiGG, Driftwood, Heartlodge, Rock & Sling, ByLine
and others. He works in Boston as an Interpreter for the Deaf.