May 30, 2013

Quietly by James Valvis

How quietly most die.
Thousands per hour,
and we hear almost nothing.
Press your ear to one wall,
hear their endless expiring
as the mum of dried bones,
to the other wall, the living,
your daughter sleeping,
her asthmatic nocturnal rasping
all that separates you
and final madness,
a life of wired walks
through narrow streets
that sleep in a silent scream,
as you hope for the hoarse whisper
of your own soundless end.

James Valvis is the author of HOW TO SAY GOODBYE (Aortic Books, 2011). His poems or stories have appeared in journals such as Anderbo, Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Hanging Loose, LA Review, Nimrod, Rattle, River Styx, Vestal Review, and many others. His poetry has been featured in Verse Daily and the Best American Poetry website. His fiction was chosen for the 2013 Sundress Best of the Net. A former US Army soldier, he lives near Seattle.

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