You told me once
when you were still talking to me
how you love voices.
No two are alike, you said.
Like people or snowflakes.
Both a noun and a verb,
the organ of the soul,
voice rouses memories
and quickens the pulse.
Voice is alive.
There is no sound
My favorite sound -
a sigh of exhalation
I love that voice is born in vibration.
Intention, the bow which glides
across the strings in our throat.
Or perhaps I've forgotten
that the voice has a mind of its own.
A sympathetic stirring
of heart strings and vocal cords
that bypasses the will.
The heart sings - the voice celebrates.
The heart cries - the voice despairs.
Today, in my "Theater of the Oppressed" class,
the teacher says:
“Oppression occurs when there is only monologue, no dialogue.”
I think of you and shudder.
I am Medusa, slayed by the sound
of her solo voice-
the echo in the mirror
turning her into silent stone.
My voice is drawn into your silence.
Like island people with multiple words for the sea
or desert nomads pondering the infinite changeable sky,
those forced to dwell in this banishment know
but do not reveal to others
(except for me, telling you, here)
there are many states of silence.
We are but water and energy
two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen
vibrating through flesh and bone.
And every compound living or inert
has its base of absolute zero.
where all is still.
The big quiet.
The range and depth of silence
is not an abstraction.
It lives in the spaces between.