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Bionic Hearing

Deborah Ager

I hear your voice in Hyderabad.
I hear particles shift in a butterfly’s wake;
the particles change to dirt clouds
that gather more particles and turn to storms
that turn to a microburst that splits your shed,
so you search the streets for your gardening tools.
I hear the lightning before it hops through
a window, and I hear you want to leave me
and I hear the sirens come for my neighbor
and I hear morose notes through a composer’s window
until they’re downed by a screaming train.
I hear the holy bells of St. Andrews calling for services.
The tolling wakes the dead, and I hear the dead
complain it’s too hot and I stuff earplugs into my ears
and I hear how much noise my body makes,
vibrating against my bones. I hear when no one speaks.

Deborah Ager

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