Fall 2013

Volume 8, Issue 2



The Silence


There was a time
when the ocean was in my throat.

Cold, life-rich water sent
messages out like dolphins

spinning down the coast.
I listened and spoke my silvery fish.

There was a chorus, too.
Witchy seabirds wheeled and screamed

my loss and joy; I had only to speak
and the wind hurried my ululation, my lamentation

to an icy continent,
a lemon-crested desert,

a roiling seabed, churning under lava.
I spoke; creation lived.

Now it’s gone. It groans,
and collapses on itself.

Aging and inert, my mouth is dry.
My words are strained; my voice trembles.

Dumb, soundless night lives in my speech.
I cannot lament my father’s death.

My breath cannot support his passing.
Maybe this is to hold him here

longer. Later, I may exhale, and his memory may
rise, briefly, blue and shining in the sun,

twisting in the air like a whale leaving water.
And that is good reason to wait.



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