By A. Carter
Have you listened to the murmurs?
how the turn of a half smile
changes the way syllables are pronounced
the soft click of tongue
as they press air between teeth
and vibrations between vocal cords
strumming them softly
so that the listener’s ears are only faintly attentive.
Some phantoms sound like a dull wind
against aspen trees
which if you’ve heard
are much like wooden wind chimes
on a cold winter day.
Others are like water running
over black obsidian glass stones,
or the sun hitting citrine
reflecting golden light.
Some voices are incapable of whispering,
Some were forced into silence.
And in turn felt the need to shout into oblivion
In a desperate attempt to be heard
they sound like scraping metal
against an old cracked concrete floor,
or an angry fist grasping a graphite pencil,
Until it snaps.
The world was always full of murmurs,
reaching for connection within boundaries.
But what happens
when the world ceases to acknowledge true sound?
When the voices are silenced
to make way for a deafening illness?
Where did my own whisper go?
Is it caught between the aspen trees
or tantalized laying on old concrete floors?
Will it shout into oblivion
or become obsidian melodies?
I’ve stopped and listened to every whisper,
and yet my own has yet to emerge
from between the murmurs.