Listen, Don’t Hear

There is a song
Playing in the distance
Pressing eardrum to the cinder wall
It is the song of my blood.
The tambour quilted into my DNA.
I can feel the vibrations
But how’s that so?
Through this wall?
The wall that separates me from my own
Protecting your own.
I am harmless.
Only here for the song
Only hear the song
You are welcome to my song, too.
It is of no territory other than this air we share.
The song draws bodies closer.
Draws an eraser over the lines you’ve drawn.
The song may even please your taste buds.
Make you warm, like radiant heat from Abué’s hug.
The song in the distance is only distant because of your dissonance.
The song is us as bass
When you prefer treble.

“Listen, Don’t Hear” has been published by The Rattling Wall & PEN Center USA in Only Light Can Do That – a collection of 100 Post-Election Poems, Short Stories, and Essays. The anthology is available for purchase at PENUSA for $15 – proceeds go directly to the organization to stimulate and maintain interest in the written word, to foster a vital literary culture, and to defend freedom of expression domestically and internationally.


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