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The Death of Silence

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A car’s backfire
rifles the ear

with skeleton clatter,
the crowd’s walla walla

draws near, caterwaul
evaporating in thin air.

Silence is dead.
(Long live silence.)

Let’s observe a moment
of it, call it what it’s not:

splatter of rain
that can’t soothe

the window’s pane,
dog barking

up the wrong tree.
Which tree, which air

apparent is there to hear
a word at its worth?

Hammer that drums
its water-logged warning

against the side
of the submarine:

I’m buried to the hilt
like the knife,

after it’s thrown,
continues to bow

to the apple
it’s split.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2012)

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This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

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The Death of Silence

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