Silence After Sound
You ask me if I’m sick again—
again, hushed, like it’s a habit
I’ve been trying hard to kick.
The words are sour, you
shy away from them.
You mean, am I infected?
Is there something leaking
from my pores, maybe those
memories I gave to you of
how I used to be, now spilling
onto your chest, ripping up my
cells like too-sharp shards of air,
splitting up my lungs, showing
all the flesh I’ve scarred?
You ask me why I read those books
if they do this to me. I tell you
it’s not her. My mind was already
turning soft and tasteless—
bruised and left to sit on an
empty table, throbbing at me,
before she gave me the words
to recognize the rotting pear.
Your chest is sweaty and my ear is
like a suction cup against uneven
glass. Your heart is beating the
way it does only after you come,
I watched you, your caught
breath, half-moan, closed eyes and
now you’re limp against me, cold
and I don’t answer you, just listen
to the fervent beating of your