The noise of oxygen passing our tongues:
a real conundrum—loud versions of thought,
louder versions of lack of thought. Everything else
still bound inside lungs struggling to express
what other tongues don’t utter. Solid silence:
an opening where avoidance can present itself.
Everything else hangs in the chatter, like laundry
abandoned on the fraying line, the dishtowels
flagging. Consider instead how the noise of rain,
like stray pebbles tossed over the fence, patters
on our rooves and reminds us what we forgot—
how our fabric soaks itself, the wealth of water
visits and presses on. How our lungs can empty
themselves like the breath of robin wings.
How our laundry in the center of summer shadows
offers its damp to the wind, awaits our return.
Against the Glass
–after “Gold Leaf” by Carl Phillips
To press—without debating which insects deserve to be saved,
the buzzing creature tossing, tossing its varnished self against window—
the mouth of the glass you just sipped from against the smudged pane,
to look through it until the frenzied beating wings become your pulse,
a baton thumping against drumskin, the pace too rushed
to keep up with—a brisk rhythm born long before the insect came to be—
to whisper to the being that’s always made you cringe (even though
it couldn’t understand) to slide a piece of mail between
the glass and glass, to whisper, to press the paper lid
tight, letting nothing escape until you step outside, unseal the vault.
Sarah B Sullivan, of Northampton, MA, is a person, poet, physician, lesbian, ocean-lover, searcher. She is published in journals including Alaska Quarterly Review, Little Patuxent Review, Cider Press Review, and Switchgrass Review. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at Pacific University, working with Ellen Bass.