Zanni Schauffler


But I want the world to get louder. Loud like seven,
like orange, loud as hyacinth battling fuschia in some back garden.

I want the world louder than my ear crumpled to your throat
in this cold room because
                                    how long can two live inside a cell
while snow is falling everywhere and no one understands
what is happening with the weather?
                                                                       Loud as Florida. Loud as garbage.

You’ve allowed me to listen—
                                          each vocal chord colliding when your mouth talks,
the heat out for weeks
and you know we could wake to an orange sky, angry and fast as infection.

                                                                                                   Orange is mine.
Mine like my mother’s face.
Mine like my beaded box and the constant mandarins on the kitchen shelf.

Please, something, rise like a sound, a sky,
                                                                    a man raising his head in orange light
to an altar.

                Give me anything: Garbage. Seven.
Ducks tearing the sky with flight.
                                               Migration is urgent, louder than anything inside you

and I’ll wake up no matter the sound, the color.
I’ll dress in the half-light of formless clutter

not turning the light on. I’ll move from this close listening.