What the Ear Said

Nothing to hear in that hollow. Not boats,
not the cadence of boats and their oars.
Not wood and water and the ferry
to island in a storm, not rain. Not
the repetition of rain and the often loved
sound of trees. Or the sea.
Or the open mouth receiving. Not the lean
of the grief-struck against an oxcart or the low
of the dog caught in that rain. Again
the sound of the heart in the throat, and the too soon
lapse of breath. Again the beat of the foot
against the floor—the speech of the bed-creak
or the priest. Not to hear a cloak or some ghost.
Not moon. Not door. Not the entered shoes of a beautiful
stranger and her door, her moon.

Oliver de la Paz


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