A Theophany of Silence

A shiver of silver—soft, like nighttime haze, visible in its fall and then
invisible, intangible, enveloping. Descending like a rotted shower of rose feathers,
a curtain of dust unfurling from some lofty dome, some darkened heaven.

As it comes down, it flaps the empty air like were-white heirloom bedsheets; like a tether-
ball, rolling on its spinning string in a late October rain; a distant muffled pound—wumph wumph
like thick carpet unrolling on ancient wood, or ear-pressed heartbeats, a field of threshers.

Wafting to the ground, it settles, churning like prairie smoke. Unbound,
it spreads like a long papery lick, leaving everything dry, dry but dripping in a heavy coat
of its breath like sogging ash. Expanding motionless—Still—it gulps us, all, in its unsound.

& I think I’d love to hold it. To cup it. Turn it, this side that, scratch it, bite it, shake & hear it echo.
But it seeps into my jaw, skull, nestles heavy in my hips, holds me when I need to get some sleep.
It gets inside. That’s how I know it—Unseen, tasteless, it leaves me shaking, tired, old.

It ages us, the whisperless wash of it, the shapelessness and the way, when it finally
lifts—out and off—we do not feel like sighing loud relief, or chanting psalms; no, when
it finally floats on—away—we all look up, look down, rub our necks and rest our knees.

Benjamin Wright will be graduating from Brigham Young University in April 2021 with a BS in Exercise & Wellness, and a Creative Writing minor. He is in the process of applying to MFA programs around the United States to continue his studies of poetry.

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