Today's poem is by Jessica Goodfellow

On Hearing of Your Hearing Loss

You heard the last trapdoor close,
the tripwire flip, the triptych
of outer, middle, and inner ear
folding in on itself. Diagnosis:

the presence of hearing loss.
"But it is," youd say later,
"more presence than absence"—
a walking backward into knowing.

You've held in your hands
a hammer, an anvil, a nautilus
swirled like a galaxy, like a cochlea.
You've rambled in labyrinths,

peered from oval windows,
lingered in vestibules—the chart
on the audiologist's wall insists
your loss should be as familiar

as furniture. But where then,
you wonder are the ear parts
called anchor and cage? You posit
a model of misunderstanding:

the voice is kept in a box, all angle
and edge, while the bits of the ear
are all curve and curl—the mundane
dilemma of square peg, round hole.

How you'll miss hearing harem
in place of heron and a meerkat
instead of America. How you'll yearn
for each evening's canticles of crows.

Still, this you did not expect:
that the umbrellas of the universe would open
in unison, in rows of silent black bells
hiding the faces of everyone you've ever met.

Copyright © 2015 Jessica Goodfellow All rights reserved
from Ninth Letter
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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