i want this house to have the silence of death
without the tragedy of it, i want
mute walls, mute tiles, a quiet shower, and noiseless door,
television only picture, radio only symbol,
fridge not humming but keeping cold.
i want to hear only myself on the way to myself
a long hallway where not a picture frame utters,
no fortuitous march robin song months early,
no abandoned hound asking the night for relief,
no horrible child making shapes in the snow,
screaming its monologue at a frowning babysitter
i want a peace that sounds like nothing
no lover's voice, even, no gentle stirring,
wooden spoon in their hand.
what kind of stillness can i afford?
the washing machine still convulses,
i still hear a page whimper when it turns, i hear you
listing the explanations—
leaving again, i fear, is not the silence that i want,
but i don't know that my loud love is digestible at all.
you are overfed and still hungry, so i compromise,
silence it is. at last—nothing is served.