First a cat howled outside, as if she were being pierced
to a cruel death with prongs, then the regular owl circled above,
scribing that rusty voice among oaks and sycamores
and then a siren
fell out of the dark city and bled past,
an agony punctuating life and death, love and hate,
crawling slowly by, out of reach.
If only I were a madman, I thought, then all this noise
would speak. On the contrary I observe it all coldly.
Despite everything, I earn a few meals, a bed.
There’s a blurred throb behind what’s visible;
I can feel and hear it, especially in the present silence.
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by Karen Kaback
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