“For I hear many whispering…” -Jeremiah 20:10

Jeremiah complains to the Lord

I hear many whispering
in the night filled with sleepers
and street walkers, slow-lipped talkers;
I hear the moon breaking the cloud line,
screaming as it is pinned to the sky
by church steeples; I hear people
asking their children why the sun rises
and children responding with cereal-
boxed wisdom; I hear the repetition
of cardboard idioms.

I hear many whispering
that the door locks jam with humidity
and sin; that pockets are not deep enough
to hide their hands in, that they are running
out of super market plastic grocery bags
to stuff with trash and throw out windows;
that the internet is crackling with news of itself,
brilliant and bright; that the night has decided
it will last forever to let us dream our nightmares
longer, to leisurely scare ourselves
to death by somnambulism and shivering.

I hear many whispering
to themselves on the orange-lit avenues,
to deep doorways that only echoes
know the meaning of, to tired eyes
that are ears for speechless tongues,
to fleshy others sweating in cotton,
to mirrors and identical open lips
and fluorescents fighting the shadows
out until the world is all clean white.

I hear many whispering
words in body languages
I do not recognize.

I hear many whispering
my name in a tone of voice I left in a shoe box
next to cathedral candle wax and metal toy soldiers and dust.

I hear many whispering
of lust, and I whisper back that
I do not understand.


One Response

  1. Brilliant. I love the form you chose to make your lists of the night-noises. This really sings.

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