..:: CONTENTS ::..

   Volume XI, Issue I

..:: POETRY ::..

..:: PROSE ::..

..:: ETC ::..
   Contributor's Notes

..:: ARCHIVES ::..
   Volume I, Issue I
   Volume I, Issue II
   Volume II, Issue I
   Volume II, Issue II
   Volume III, Issue I
   Volume III, Issue II
   Volume IV, Issue I
   Volume IV, Issue II
   Volume V, Issue I
   Volume V, Issue II
   Volume VI, Issue I
   Volume VI, Issue II
   Volume VII, Issue I
   Volume VII, Issue II
   Volume VIII, Issue I
   Volume VIII, Issue II
   Volume IX, Issue I
   Volume IX, Issue II
   Volume X, Issue I
   Volume X, Issue II


A Room for Listening
John Sibley Williams


                                                       I hold closest the places I've never been;

the silent history of Grandfather, which is only a word
for uninhabited house, alive in my cheekbones, hairline, dreams,
not even a whisper in the conch of my ears

                                                       made of hands and images

brother who died before knowing breath
or heartbreak, leaving us clay to mold him
into the tree of our choosing; how I was born
vibrant as the sun angled through his branches
from this same womb

                                                       an empty room remembers

suicide by forgetting, aunt clung to my elbow
Father?Brother?Son?—perhaps there was a time
I could have been all of these things; it was not then
or now

                                                       how a piano once played here,

cousins who flew fifteen hundred miles in different directions
to escape a legacy of locks;
from that distance how he seems so much nearer
and forgiven

                                                       without keys

mother is lost within an intricate whiteness—
sheet, gown, bedside carnations, body
heavy as a late autumn snowflake; what sustains
is no longer the same blood that is in me, but
my veins can taste it

                                                       how we still know it as song



//   Advance   //