by Matthew Miller
Your silence is a gift. A sand partridge quivering and
whistling. We furnish the path for ourselves, for now,
giving names to the empty spaces we sleep with. You
receive our sweaty tongues, full of promises that will
be hung like harps. We don’t know how to strum, how to be
filled with blossoming. When the wind is silent,
so too the mulberries. When it blows, leaves open and
free the fruit, a mercy feast for desert deer. Peace is not
vexing. Every morning, the rising sun’s blessing is able
to split its husk like a lentil. Before dusk, it diffuses to
a simmer on the river. Why should I speak?
I remember boiling pears in wine and honey until
the dirty skins peeled away. Elizabeth laughing while the
fire blazed. A small loaf of bread rising the same day.
The crust, quiet and tender, but I finally hear the breaking this
creates. So much of what happens
is routine. The raven crackles and shrieks because
it imagines a hole in the nest. When I thought of you,
wadis crested in flood waves, leaving canyons behind. I did
not think of rescue; how roaring waters bring a hush. It’s not
punishment, but guides my feet, crushing the stones I used to believe.
Matthew Miller teaches social studies, swings tennis rackets, and writes poetry – all hoping to create home. He and his wife live beside a dilapidating orchard in Indiana, where he tries to shape dead trees into playhouses for his four boys. His poetry has been featured in Whale Road Review, River Mouth Review, EcoTheo Review and Ekstasis Magazine.