Everything Falls Silent


The cricket’s chirp casts shadows doubling us against the darkness, calling to us through unused hours, transferring its nothingness to us, and the more we search for the source of that nothingness, the more it penetrates every pore, every thought, until we become the nothingness, and that’s why we search so hard, that’s why we never give up looking once we hear it—we scour the corners, beneath the couch, the end table, the arm chairs, behind the vents, even beneath the pile of wood beside the fireplace—we rummage through memory that spills over to the unspoken, the future with its many eyes, the photographs where we keep the dead, and the kingdom of pencils where we keep our pain, but the ghosts we follow don’t necessarily follow us, they keep no appointments as they charm the lid off night, break the back of day, and no matter what we do they won’t come out, but lie awake in the dark, in the dusty corners, hearing us, they won’t come out no matter how many times we call, not for bits of food left on the floor, not for stomping in circles on the hardwood, not for love—they’re still there, breathe them in, there’s no mistaking their aroma, the smell of time, of lost appointments and hands drifted apart, and that which passes from their body to ours, my body to yours, wants us to live, begs us to inhabit those legs and antennae, that head, but how can we trust it, as if it were so easy to leave this body, to listen to this song that reminds us of our fear of leaving and of life, of accidentally stepping off the edge of the world, and still we search, for what else can we do, and if we found it, what then, would we smash it in the closet door, watch as the guts oozed out, or stomp it with our boots and later scrape the bits off with a butter knife, would we box it and take it far away where we could no longer hear its song, or would we simply walk past, like the mouse that is no longer afraid, and if we did that would we still be thankful for its mystery, for the inversion of words and worlds that teaches us loneliness is not an absence, but yourself.  

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