CALL TO ACTION
Fell asleep listening to the missing persons
podcast that features two cadaver dogs
named Grief & Breeze
who rove the brackish lakeside woods
for some scrap of scent
to bring the forensics team huddled
by the van with the guy from the CBC
who’s tracking the cold case. Thirty years,
a lapse that holds the myth of any life
& its making, so what will the world
drag back into daylight now?
Fevers of kudzu; black snakes
coiled into zeroes on rocks.
Today I told her it was over
then went to the focus group
meeting. I was part of the target
demographic & they wanted all
my opinions but I felt too sad
to give them so listened, didn’t
speak. The air flush before rain
as I walked home later along
the train tracks & the dishwasher
smoking out back of the pizza
place with his apron on.
He stood where oil pools in little lakes
as I cut across the parking lot;
he waved & I waved back
& ignored the call that came,
put my phone back in my pocket.
I know silence is suspect & seems
even when it’s not: Listen sometimes
a person just can’t speak.
The world is loud & blurs
with sound. It echo-chambers.
& the opposite is a room built by Microsoft
to improve their bottom line
where the only noise is your own body,
just the amplified sound of blood
& pulse singing beneath the surface
of your skin. When they dredge the lake
at the end of Episode
Three, I am listening in the dark
to hear what comes after
grief collapse time
a body pulled
from its ache into daylight.
It’s nothing if not grotesque.
& some of us look away
& some of us want to watch.
ALLISON TITUS is the author of The True Book of Animal Homes (Saturnalia) and a forthcoming chapbook, Sob Story (Barrelhouse).