Where the I Comes From

The New Republic

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POETRY JULY 22, 2013

Where the I Comes From

Our days often ended and began
with the sound of voices raised
in song. Even after we murdered
our friends and neighbors. Even
after we brought the attention
of our knives to the neighbors of
our neighbors, until at last
the neighborhoods fell silent
and the cities quiet and the city’s
city, the country then and next
the country, until finally the moon,
as if its own reflection, looked
upon an earth that we had emptied
nearly back to Eden. Even then,
in a silence which seemed almost
a silence, sadly we were not
alone. All we ever wanted was
to be alone, to visit no one, to be
visited by nothing. But even after
we’d traveled to nearby planets
and relieved them of their voices,
even after—and we all knew
this was coming—we fell amongst
each other, brother and sister,
until only I survived, still I heard it,
the universe subtracted of its skin
and hair, and yet the sound
of a voice, like someone singing
in the hold of a sinking ship,
unbidden and irrelevant, a fathom
and a fathom deep, but never fading.

 

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posted in: where the i comes from, josh bell

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