In my knee socks
and mini Mary-Janes, I used to consider
A perfect and still expanse,
I imagined, invisible yet palpable
thick as fog and clear as spring ice.
I’d clasp my ears,
body tucked into the dark corner
of a closet, buried
in a forest of clothes,
eyes shut for emphasis.
No breath or movement interfered.
Nothing tickled the air.
I puffed my cheeks
to hold in squeaky breath,
But my body thrummed with life,
spoiling any chance at perfection—
hands like seashells at my ears
echoing the demands of the sea;
blood washed through me
and a piercing ring
screamed into all the corners and folds
as if terrified
of something so incomprehensible
as perfect silence.
No matter where you go, must there always be noise?
I could never feel
what must be so peaceful.
A softened stillness free from roars
and rumbles, scrapes and screams.
I was always hearing—
wiggles from across the house
voices through the vent
aching strains of music stretching up the stairs.
What is it like to be deaf?
To not even comprehend
what sound is, just as I
will never fully understand
the perfect silence?
I lie to the part in the back of me
about people and places in my life
blaming them for the screams
disguising subtle, sneaky thoughts
that curl in the corners of my mind,
dark wisps of snide hope
tingling with unholy answers.
If my other part
knew the truth
heard the screams
or saw the snips of wisping hope,
would never be allowed to come in.
There will be complete silence at the end,
maybe in the coffin.
Sealed and consumed in the Earth
packed tight so no errant sounds
can squeeze their way
down through the airtight particles
and thick, musty wood.
I imagined the rich darkness
and thick cool silence
like welcome water
gushing over every inch of me.
I am destined for a box
and my silence waits for me there.
There must be a way
to find the coffin
an ongoing narrative
fills the gaps.
I pick the right words
like tender berries
careful not to squish
the truth I craft
and the bright, blank paper in my mind
as the two of us wait
for that secure coffin
and its inviting silence.