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Submersibles tethered: strangers
to see into the silence
the hidden coelacanth suspended
in the womb. They sing in high-pitched Doppler
to glint its scales; when nothing sings back,
Calypso’s monitors are black
(black is the sound of nothing there).

On the screen you are crosshatched—
mysterious like an echo: an obscure, half-told
fable forged by the clatter
of hammer banging anvil:
my Hephaestus, my Hephaestus, my ear,
smithy ear and you in the clanging.

In the black, black everywhere
of the nothing there you consider
the immense aloneness in silence,
the comprehension of:
“you’re not alive, if not ever heard.”
You consider disappearance with

pantomimed screams; this is how
it is through liquid-filled lungs, but
the soul wills to be heard;
it wills to see the other side of nothing; it
utters, it utters, it utters instead
from the heart a constant pulse, pause and pulse
to look out as the ultrasound explores within.

First published in August issue of Writers’ Bloc (2010)
First published in Summer issue of The Portland Review (2011)