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

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

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