Without the Speed of Sound through Water

you break me
when you say my name

I speak volumes
without a translator

you write love songs
about me

I’m never near
when you play them

on your guitar
with or without an amp

the sprung floor vibrates
beneath the dancer’s bare feet

Helen Keller searches
for Martha Graham

with ungloved hands
across those wooden planks

you learn to play piano
for the deaf girl too

I am her lover
and tormentor

never speak my name
never scrawl it across

the underbelly
of a bridge

it takes Michael Kiwanuka
5 minutes and 3 seconds

to start singing
“Cold Little Heart”

my throat tightens
so I know

the tears of my silence
will come

as soon as I hear
that voice

2 thoughts on “Without the Speed of Sound through Water

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