On steel earth and dog heat
The dogs wept.
Not silence.
Not even the silence of the cage
After it breaks, from the dull river of your breathing
And the river of your bloodstream.
And the wet crackling of your mouth.

Not the silence of the trees
Nor the whispered hush from nightwalls escaping;
Only the amplification of a rat’s heart.
The dumb dust road’s expression.
Leaves being picked up,
And with a sigh let down.
The slow walking vagrant determined
To beat our silences by walking.

And now, in animal red
From a tree of bones
The murmuring convicts
Start singing …

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