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No wind is too cold for lovers — Ukrainian Proverb
Are you the tiny creature taking up the entire night skies? — Our private garage band, teasing us with longing? — As if silence were a dance on a magnetic field. Lyrical, diaphanous creature, you’re the essence of all the good sounds — dishes clanking, saxophones, laughter. This trill is the opposite of a tea kettle shrieking. Not at all the siren’s pitch of warning just before a building is level bombed. The opposite of a gunshot — The endless echo. You’re the hieroglyphs we work to understand. No misgivings, prick-spur of our pride, the sandbags buff March winds. You are the old ladies whispering under kitchen lights. The earworm singing to pajama-bottomed teen boys, tapping chewed-off pencils on schoolbooks. You are pulsing in the hips of the couple fucking in the next room — next room to the next room of the dead. From the last blooms of August, sunflowers rise from the ashes of our ancestors. The women are lighting Shabbos candles with Molotov Cocktails — A baby is passed to arms on a train. Looking for the sound of peace in a song—breathing, the whole world is in on it.
Cynthia Atkins is the author of Psyche’s Weathers, In The Event of Full Disclosure (CW Books) and Still-Life With God (Saint Julian Press). Atkins lives on the Maury River of Rockbridge County, Virginia, with artist Phillip Welch and their family.