from Deaf Republic: 9

I am not a poet, Sonya I inspect
the fragrant feet of younger ladies—
While deafness hums as a little motor
I watch her stand in the shower
holding her breasts
in her hands like two small explosions.
I am her boy drowning.
In this country he does not know
the word for “drowning” and yells:
“I am diving for the last time!”

These poems are from the unfinished manuscript Deaf Republic. This story of a pregnant woman and her husband living during an epidemic of deafness and civil unrest was found beneath the floorboards in a house in Eastern Europe. Several versions of the manuscript exist.—IK
Source: Poetry (May 2009)