Hearing things


In whispered conversations I hear sibilant fragments of curses and blessings and mundane dreams
In faraway hollering I hear the ache of unrequited love
In solitary footsteps I hear a lifetime of disappointment pushing its weight down from the shoulders, through the knees, to the balls of tired feet
In murmuring that echoes off marble walls I hear the music of a generation passing from hope to resignation
In the whistling of the wind I hear warnings of winter and the brittle cruelty of time’s inescapable touch
In the turning of pages I hear the aging of the world and the breaking of hearts
In a baby’s incoherent babbling I hear the wisdom of gods and the miscalculation of demons
In the slamming of doors I hear the desperation of children without boundaries
In the whistling of kettles I hear the tired voices of our most precious ghosts
In the screeching of a train’s wheels I hear the longing for lost gratification
In the ticking of a clock I hear the illusion of order

In the crashing of a wave I hear the triumph of chaos
In nursery rhymes I hear the horror of war, undiluted by millennia
In a sizzling steak I hear the rejection of mercy
In the snap of a surgical glove I hear the sacrifice of women
In the splash of a fountain I hear the revenge youth takes against despair
In the pop of a cork I hear the promise of a hangover
In the profanity of young women I hear the shattering of shackles
In the crackling of fire I hear the legend of eternal life
In the scratch of pen-on-paper I hear the punchline to the untellable joke
In the dog-whistle whine of TV I hear the terrible consequences of distraction
In the wheeze and whir of traffic I hear the inevitability of loneliness
In the clicking of heels on shiny floors I hear the pied piper who has no followers
In the flick of a lighter I hear the cruelty of heat without warmth

 

In the gentle patting of flesh-on-flesh I hear the redemption of tireless hope
In the clatter of a vibrating phone I hear disembodied violation
In the flapping of wings I hear the decaying promise of escape
In the ringing of church-bells I hear the prayers of the devoted departed
In the squeal of distant sirens I hear the dread of fatherless children
In the groan of overburdened millions I hear faith in unrealized fantasy
In the receding echoes of what might have been I hear a desperate call to arms
In the bark of a puppy I hear your crinkling joy
In the rumble of thunder I hear the invitation of your bed
In the rustling of garments I hear your flesh twisting and folding and stretching and yearning
In the silence of your dreams I hear the impenetrable splendor of lives entwined in
devotion

In the unmistakable cadence of your voice I hear the redemption of unconditional love

In the rattle of death I hear confirmation of my suspicion that the only thing sacred is our love


Even in cacophony I hear your beating heart
Even in the endless roar I hear your softest breath

Published by mikepowernyc

Named one of New York's Best Emerging Poets 2019, my poetry chapbook The New Normal was published by Analog Submission Press. My novel The Zoo was published by Cacoethes Publishing House. Other poems and short stories have appeared in various publications, including Subterranean Blue Poetry, The Journal of Microfiction, and Sick Lit Magazine. Other works include a staged reading of my play Digging Up John Barrymore, performed by Dreamcatcher Entertainment, and five albums of original music recorded with my band Late Model Humans.

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