A clip by Ben Doller of a reading of Aaron Kunin’s ‘The Sore Throat’ (From: The Sore Throat & Other Poems, 2010).




The throat is

sore for a

word. It is

sore with word-


desire, desire

for the word “she.”

The word “she”: will

it appear? Will


she appear?

(Is the word

“she” a she?)

She is a


word I always,

without knowing,

had in my mind.

Once, to my shame,


I had no


what to do

with the word


“she”; now it seems

like I don’t know

any other

word. It seems like



is a she,

money is

a she (you’re


so complete you

don’t have to think

about money!

You have so much


money you

don’t know what

knowing is!),

knowing is


a she, and in

heaven, God is

a she. No more

Herr Gott, from now


on, no more

seigneur, no

more boy-god:

the end! But


won’t she start to

wonder: “If there’s

no word for ‘he,’

if everything


is a she,

why would we

have to have

a word for


it? If this word

appears every-

where, it won’t mean

anything.” And


at last she

may say to

you: “You are

my own good


boy. For me

there’s no choice:

no other

boy will do.”



From The Sore Throat and Other Poems (Fence Books, 2010)