Jeanne Murray Walker (bio)

At midnight, when I hear scrabbling in the rafters
and headlights swing across our bedroom wall,
I think it must be you, your message fluting
down my rising, falling breath
and then this morning you blare red red red
from the trumpet of the hibiscus
though your notes are nothing
I can make clear no matter what vowels I use.

Listen, you forgot your shoes. What shall I do
with your rings and bracelets? You changed your mind
and took off, like a woman who paints her kitchen red
then sells it, leaving no address except Beyond
the Edge. Soon more of my favorite people will be there
than here. The brass weight on the doctor’s scale
slides toward the tipping point.

God being God you’d think he’d weigh enough,
we wouldn’t need to load heaven up with husbands,
children, parents, to want to go there.
But we get such scant news from that country,

so once in a while I venture to the edge,
trying to stitch two worlds together, learning
how much of what goes on we can’t see.
How scientists have learned that mice sing.
They do. But in a range
too high for the human ear.



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