Play it Again BY Zachary Kluckman He says the birds are too loud outside his window. The room swims with lights that make him dizzy. The birds are too loud. He says the little yellow pills make the ground go away. His feet are too soft and maybe the birds mistake them for bread. The voices are kind to him in the bathroom, but at lunch he can hear them talk about taking his hair. They didn’t care about his pudding. Just his hair. Bald as a baby, he says. Points to his head. After, the finger stays there as if struck by an idea of its own. Until the little girl comes. Sings, a song he wrote for her in the crib. His hands sink to his lap. He laughs, shouts. “Katydid!” The little girl knows he is not concerned with insects. Does not remember her name. This is his applause. Applauding her voice for the first faint memory he has this week. The balloons and the kids. The feet on top of his. This little girl in a body he does not recognize, who danced with him once, before all these strangers moved into his home. Zachary Kluckman, the National poetry Awards 2014 Slam Artist of the Year, is a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medal Poetry Teacher and a founding organizer of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change program, the largest poetry reading in history. Kluckman serves as Spoken Word Editor for the Pedestal magazine and has authored three collections of poetry: PerCity Poems (Dichotomy Dances Press, 2006), the Red Mountain Press National Poetry Prize winning Animals in Our Flesh (Red Mountain Press, 2013), and Some of It is Muscle (Swimming With Elephants Publications, 2014), a finalist in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards.