Buck-Shot Yellow Jackets
My lost things, these two.
What you wish to be listening to,
it finds you and darkens the darkness.
Skeletal tulip tree branches, enriching a soundscape
more cruel by far than thunder—the warning you doubt,
though you cannot afford the doubt. They remember. I know they do.
The dark monstering, the dark deviling, the whispering in-
breath echo of subvocal expression. The soaked things
shivered. I took their heads in my hands and
their eyes had brightened with fear-joy. The
one asked, “Will there be some music?”
The other said, “You could hear
how cold it was.” Dampening
my chest, it reaches you
Then came the quiet.
“Three,” said the one, stirred.
“Two,” said the other, burbling.
There was a sucking-through-teeth sound, the
sounds that did not take the shape of words. Reverberating
tickatickas, cuck-cuck calls, bowel-guttering stridulations, sonic markers
of any kind. Ultrasonic, too high to be audible. The scornful echoes. Slapped.
“And of what temperature were the sounds?” I asked as I
evaluated what I collected; what I collected is poetry
that degenerated to science under my successful
scrutiny and reverted to song under my failing
love. The commentary stung like
buck-shot yellow jackets, like
adults betraying children,
the screams, the moans,
the creaks, the bone-
No music? No