a looped piano by a human named Emily

it’s a struggle
to modulate
the volume of
my voice.

maybe,
now, more
so, with
the lessening of
gatherings,
now, with
the increased time
spent alone.

hours
pile themselves
convivially atop
each other;
i stand
atop
their current
formation, as
years.

years
i’ve been
mostly
speaking inside
my head.
and without
the wincing eyes
of others,
i find it
difficult
to modulate
the volume
of my voice.

many times,
i do not feel
myself
to be too
voluble.
sometimes,
even i balk
at the sharp
treble ball bearing
of my voice.

rising.

rising like hours,
stacked
into years.

earlier,
a friend speaks
with me; mostly
i was able
to keep
my pitch
and tenor
inside of
reasonable levels.
and she,
with the glasses
and the smile,
she,
she
did not so much as
blink,
the few times i
felt myself
scattering
into marble
and tin, my
voice like
the clanging
of a train and
we are too
close to
the tracks.

instead, she
smiled and allowed
me an hour,
a kindly and good
humored hour.
one that i would
gladly stack
like wood,
to use
later
as
heat.
later,
when i am again
in my head;
talking without concern
for volume,
heated without need
for fuel.
watching
the hours
laugh and holler
as they tumble
atop each other,
watching
from my perch
of growing years.

our days stream
from us,
like water
turned from snow.
we collect ourselves
as pools,
alpine or
subterranean.
even those of us
living our lives
below sea level,
living our lives
in parking lot
box store
strip mall,
living our lives
in desert or
in soft-shouldered suburb,
all of us,
dwellers of mountains.
our hours
ripened
to years.

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

One thought on “a looped piano by a human named Emily

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