the silence crawls
into the folds of our skin.
it drips down trees,
it fills canyons,
it stops up holes in
punched train tickets,
it's a thin film over the night,
and it locks us into a snapshot with
the stamp of
a camera flash

over there in the corner
a woman sits down at the piano,
she fixes all of it,
she puts the keys in the right order
as bony fingers float across the keys,
tapping out tender melodies in time
with the click
of the metronome
and the thump
of her heart.

the notes crawl over each other
like strange insects
a choked sob breaks
the silence