Close Listening to the Universe


21I first heard it on a moonless night.

A melodic buzzing. 

Persistent as a housefly’s footfalls.

Almost imperceptible

to the untrained ear

in the mind of

barefoot solitude.


I am no expert, but

I’ve learned to discern

silence in varying weights. 

Its bald peaks and 

full-throated troughs. 

I become wide open. 

Privy to the elemental murmurings

like a seashell

scuffed apart by sand. 

The crickets speak in tongues.

The grass hums. 

When midnight sneezes, 

it steals my breath.


To listen, forget 

the eyes. Abandon

the body. The world 

will unfurl in a quilt 

of sound. A hypnosis 

at the discothèque. 

Nostalgia croons above 

the din. A lone saxophone

moans. My ear stays pressed

against the brass knob. 

I’m not after spoken secrets.


There goes the dial tone 

of your atoms.

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