Litany: The Language of Silence

            The language of silence

                        is a loose windowpane
                        while fog licks past

                        a wound that doesn’t bleed

                        it is music in a lab coat

                        waits on the other side
                        of the street, raincoat open

                        is chiseled with a plastic ring
                        in unraveled yarn

                        lurks east of tomorrow
                        peering through blinds

                        is folded by a blind dancer
                        into his paisley suitcase

                        is where melody
                        swallows misspelled words

                        hides in a cereal box
                        under your ruined house

The language of silence

                        arrives when it wishes
                        and it won’t let you leave

Mark J. Mitchell’s latest novel, The Magic War, just appeared from Loose Leaves Publishing. He studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver and George Hitchcock. His work has appeared in several anthologies and hundreds of periodicals. Three of his chapbooks—Three Visitors, Lent, 1999, and Artifacts and Relics—and the novel, Knight Prisoner, are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He lives with his wife, the activist and documentarian Joan Juster, and makes a living pointing out pretty things in San Francisco. A meager online presence can be found at

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