after Mary Ruefle & Gillian Flynn
There is no sound for the color puce. No sound for the doll
rolling her glass eyeballs back inside her skull when mother
insists she is not real. No sound surrounding the abandoned
beehive, or for the loneliness of the Queen, stuck stubbornly
inside her queendom. No sound for the key pressed up against
the neck. For the lake water, so absolutely still, we swear, we
once balanced an olive upon it. There is no sound for the sigh
at the end of time. For the marble held under the tongue.
The turnip is soundless on the kitchen countertop, but not
nearly as tightlipped as the Jell-O, the egg. There is no sound
for the splitting of the unicellular life, the blessed mission
of binary fission. We love the non-sounds of the unscratched
itch, the undug ditch. Secrets, of course, never keep quiet.
So often they are accompanied by fingers stitched to lips,
that dark song: shhhhh. There is no sound for the deflowered
field. For daisies, chained & slit into another human summer.
There is no sound in never saying, I’m sorry. And still there is
no sound for the color puce, especially when Marie Antoinette
wore it as a prisoner in the tower of the Temple in 1792.
There is no sound for the trail of seeds that leads from the open
palm. The moon, of course, is soundless, but do not believe what
the scientists say about stellar seismology, the stars each pulsing
their own ghostly notes. Once upon a time on earth in 7th grade,
a girl wore a white cotton t-shirt, and we could see beneath.
The air cracked when we called her a slut. When we snapped
her bra during class: the relentless, repetitive smack of a metal
mouse trap. Later, we captured her on the playground, we held
down her ankles & wrists. We filled her mouth with dirt. She
was punished, not for what she was, but for what we could not
emit: only one girl can glow first. Meaning, she had to be wounded
for the way the boys touched her arm too many times, or our fathers
pulled her in to dance too close. What I remember most, when we
took our hands off of her: we hovered over her with such intention.
We were inescapable as the sky. Below us, her lips speckled
with a goldenness, her hair was streaked with sand. Listen:
there is no sound for this.
By JM Farkas