A legion of dogs has passed the window
unregarded, unhowled at
and cats come swaggering
into the noiseless garden.
Is there no watchfulness left
in the ruined couch, the stained glass?
And where did all this quiet come from?
Secretly the house collected it
and releases it now like a slap.
I bite on an apple and nothing happens.
Silence bounds into the kitchen
and lifts its black eyes.
How is it possible
the popped-up toast can sit in the toaster
and not rouse you, the stairs
not explode at the scrape of butter?
the slices wait.
Where are your ten imploring years?
From foot to foot I shift
while south of here
in unfamiliar territory
your curious hungry ashes scatter,
scour the woodland and the wind
and snatch this quiet from my hands.
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