for Valerie

A. This is the morning crow
     and mating call of friction,
     the cry of matchsticks rutting:

          percussive scrape
          of rosined hair
          gone skidding crosswise

     down the strings too near the bridge,
     a suicide who lost her nerve

D. Rubber screeches pavement
     at gasping angles, an awkward
     coupling before the crash

          that never comes:
          suppressed too late,
          a nervous giggle

     smothered at the funeral,
     a strangled scream in miniature

G. Guttural yelp of the mastiff
     corrected by choke chain,
     its protest cut short—

          the clearing of
          a throat that snaps
          the silence in a

     waiting room that holds its breath;
     disruption of a steady pulse

C. And this is the roar of a world
     as it halts on its axis, the crush
     of earth unto itself:

          a din transcribed
          by seismograph
          at epicenter,

     absent voice to echo growls
     of wounded, grinding continents

(first appeared in issue 1 of Packingtown Review)