All night rain rattles soft against
the windows, forms pellets bordering
on frost; they fall like asterisks
upon the sill, language dissolving
as soon as spoken. Even the oboe
of a distant loon, the stream’s
purling clarinet, cannot prevent
this imminent slide toward silence—
The bell quieting toward the damper,
the mouth withdrawn from the reed;
the instrument returned to its velvet-
lined case, the tongue curled back
into its underground cave. So rich
and fragile, so little understood.
Maligned silence, milky as the swirl
at the bottom of a cup, toward which
the face bends to drink, wanting more.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.