Treasure Island

Thomas Lux


Unlike, For Example, The Sound Of A Riptooth Saw


gnawing through a shinbone, a high howl
inside of which a bloody, slashed-by-growls note
is heard, unlike that
sound, and instead, its opposite: a barely sounded
sound (put your nuclear ears
on for it, your giant hearing horn, its cornucopia mouth
wide) -- a slippery whoosh of rain
sliding down a mirror
leaned against a windfallen tree stump, the sound
a child's head makes
falling against his mother's breast,
or the sound, from a mile away, as the town undertaker
lets Grammy's wrist
slip from his grip
and fall to the shiny table. And, if you turn
your head just right
and open all your ears,
you might hear
this finest sound, this lost sound: a plow's silvery prow
cleaving the earth (your finger
dragging through milk, a razor
cutting silk) like a clipper ship cuts the sea.
If you do hear this sound,
then follow it with your ear and also your eye
as it and the tractor that pulls it
disappear over a hill
until it is no sound at all,
until it comes back over the hill again,
again dragging its furrow,
its ground-rhythm, its wide open throat, behind it.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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