BLOG— Black chimes, moving like branches
- Published: October 10, 2017
Black chimes, moving like branches. Shedding notes.
Night. Silent wheels down velvet tracks. Six cylinders of fog. Black chimes, engine unbegun.
Day. Six fugitives of night. Receding green-white fog. Black chimes, figures lit by floodlights in a dream.
The jays wake up mouthy. The crows flap shouting out of sleep. Everyone has a voice. Especially the silent ones. All night, the crickets play at cards, shuffling the decks of their wings, again and again. Morning, same thing. They’re quiet or noisy, depending how you’re tuned.
The highway hums. From a distance, a sewing machine voice. Close, oceans pouring through a concrete throat. I would like to hear the world without it. Or would I miss the surest mark of humankind, our silent net of noise?
I can’t abide the beeps. I am cultivating kindness toward machines. There’s a nuthatch in our fridge, I tell myself, to soften my heart.
A memory. A library in a strange house, years ago and far away. All alone within the walls of books. Red leather chairs, deep as throats. Thick rugs. A roar, indescribable, like an ocean in an airplane crashing the ears of Earth.
I begin to think it must be all the words.
I’m too young to think I’m crazy. But I don’t mention it to the grown-ups, busy with their spoons and crystal. And anyway, deaf.
Sudden music. A young man passes on his way to school. His phone plays tiny, tinny notes. He walks, as he always walks, with strides that whoosh. Oops. He returns. No music, just the jog of zippers. And footfall, an alley noise.
Rain drips. Trees hold up their many fiddle bows. The notes they long to drop are one hand, clapping.
When will we have wind again?
Black chimes, hair of gods, wild with noise.
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