What Is The Sound

By Dawn Lundy Martin

What is the sound of sounds

sounding indefinite fist in face again and

sound of the surprise of it coming

from nowhere, of breaking the arm

on a small fall in your own house,

a respiratory failure, wound opening like a little mouth.

We inhabit the brutal. We are shattered everyday.

We look askew. Head broken floor array, light

array, great distances, life goals.

Staked upon every border,

guardians. Protections have many faces.

Misuse of the face as a streaming

desire. Solution posted: “Get rid of all the n*ggers.”

The state exacts its controls.

That the pepper spray happens against kneeling children—

That the search for the secret leaker is unyielding—

If you want, you can make a myopic focus, concentrate

on a shone shadow or drift off into space.