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9. Rafter Waiting on time to catch up to the sentencing where snow captures the sound of our steps and rivers run bloody along the faults of bones but can’t find the sea; it’s just a muscle, & weak. weak One’s inclination to burrow beneath the blanket of habit, to tattoo the inside of a body’s flesh, to retune the radio dial to the edge of reception wherein ring modulation blossoms from static. static This is a process of combing the filter, of parsing what is from what the signs require of naming and what was from what eventually we’ll need when the destructive forces of surrender hum. Hum In the dark, the radio transmission is a kind of breath against the eardrum, a finger-tip’s pulse, the length of string that can still transmit voice and make it discernable from the howling wind. Wind So many songs begin in an inappropriate key, rattle the speaker cones ragged, honk and blat, while behind the softest curtain of compression a dry throat clutches & wants to wet its whistle. Whistle I can hear in the air a rarer sound, growing loud in thickets of tied tongues & the teeth’s chatter, in crowded clouds occluding the luminous blue we require when allowed to imagine such a sky. Sky But you broke from us a faith we didn’t think to protect, supposed our selves from older oceans as we suckled some mother’s milk to nourish names by which we could invent such histories. history Okay, it’s enough, to gently tug the words until someone talks back from the depths, unmarred by the warbling orbits of introspective monolog, to clamp our jaws and give silence what it’s due. due


Ninth in the series.