Not even the birds speak tonight. Nor the frogs,
the owls. This preternatural quiet can only mean
the animals have tuned in to those high
frequency radio signals that we can’t access:
for days they’ve rolled inland like waves,
ring upon ring of echoes from that gyre
levitating, terrible sufi at sea. I look around
at all the books that line the shelves of this house—

Should I have spent more time outdoors, collecting
specimens to pin to walls, learning to paddle
outward into the foam then climb up on a board,
cutting the water’s surface into points? Inside,
outside— sometimes I can’t tell the difference,
really, especially when holding my breath.

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