where’s the money shot

sunny with a real feel of 5
degrees Fahrenheit

another cruel moment in April
gets trapped under ice

no algae
nothing’s blooming

good or bad
here where the climate trickster

of our own making
never sleeps

Frankenstein’s monster drinks
from the fetid future

has not yet learned
how to lie

he won’t open his eyes underwater
he won’t tell us what he hears

in all that muffled blue
his silence is damaged

if he would declare his damage
it would spill then bleed

into the fibers
of a wrongly-folded map

someone has abandoned
on the frozen ground

remember those

pockets of jamais vu
dot the landscape

with crimson-tinted notes
in the minor key

no one asks to be
the hero image

that spans an iridescent bridge
to nowhere

Make Believes

The same story
in seven different languages.
She can’t find hers. Where? Could be tucked
deep inside
those accordion folds. But, no,
this could be

his. To pretend

to be mute
at this late date could be
his one last act
before a hunger strike pulls
down the red curtain. Or, no,
that one might be

the one she abandoned
years ago at the roadhouse
now something else altogether.

On Clemens Road Again

Who offers
an app for saying
good-bye without
uttering a sound? Secrets

are sometimes so loud
she doesn’t pay
attention. Misses
the easy

ones. She understands
the hardened silence too well.

Aphasia Part II

A lifelong conversation winds
around the trunks
of bare trees. She’s left
to support his silence
so he won’t fall

down the rabbit hole. The one
she can’t peer into for fear
she might like
what she sees. Might not ask
for help again.

Below Grade Cafe

Incessant talkers deliver
monologues to dead loved ones
before burial, a self-proclaimed born
teacher gossips

to a silent companion. I’m the eavesdropper—
noisy interloper
who won’t say a word.

In Situ

Her nervous system’s high
whine, his circulating blood a low
hum, their silence won’t come
the way they imagined
under these rafters at dawn. This return
to audible reality—a compulsion
to let the breath be known—weighs
on her as she steps off the back
porch. Onto pavers seeping
mud, her feet adjust to the sway. The rain
did not stop, but that wasn’t it.
Her disappearance completes
the arc of narrative
in light better than words.

Song from a Petri Dish

Microscope left on the piano
no one plays
tonight. Parades in the cold

silence this close study
of notes. Lids down,

I can hear
the blizzards that hum
without strings.

Ode to Silence