We drive to Anacortes in our state of silence

bigger than our island, bigger than the Sound, bigger than Washington.

We drive over the Deception Pass bridge connecting
Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island and we watch
the winter’s tidal flow move fast and rough
while the scattering of tiny tree-covered lands beneath us
sleep like turtles in their shells.

It is January 1st; nothing feels new.
This silence is our ancient secret.


My love, we keep moving the target; the definition keeps changing.
We tried to name the absence of sound and then gave up on naming.


We park in front of the restaurant and
with our kiss we attempt to birth an
electricity of words and sounds, but
the sharp corners and tight pleats of
his uniform build a cold that
hovers above us like snow, and
our January fails to seed, and
our calendar burns when we touch it,
and we eat dinner
while our silence
eats up another
of our years.


Chaffey Review, spring 2010