by Emma Bolden
Did you know that the trees all talk to each other, a friend said. Something like a neural net. Something made of root and fungus, the way each branch hangs heavy on the sky. Great, I thought. Just what we all need, here clock-ticking our way over the earth. More language. More clatter, clamor. I thought, but I did not tell her. All the time my hands were deciding what they would and would not hold. I suppose there is something to be said about a silence. And lately when I imagine the space where once I imagined a soul, that great glob of God all bright and hope shining, I see now. A zero is a circle is a circuit. There is no entry nor exit, which is and is not the opposite of what time is. Under the earth and its pressures lie mountains of coal waiting to diamond. This is why I prey myself in the middle of the night, in the deep brute sound of it. All the words become a dark and a murmur. Why were we given ears if not to hear, if not to translate every sound into meaning. Into God. Beneath roof and tree and sky I listen, I make it out and into a verb. A hush. A hush.
Emma Bolden is the author of a memoir, The Tiger and the Cage (Soft Skull), and the poetry collections House Is an Enigma, medi(t)ations, and Maleficae. Her work has appeared in such journals as Mississippi Review, The Rumpus, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, New Madrid, TriQuarterly, Shenandoah, and The Greensboro Review. The recipient of an NEA Fellowship, she is Associate Editor-in-Chief for Tupelo Quarterly and an editor of Screen Door Review.