print this page go back one page    

Joyce Sutphen: Gallery for Naming the Stars

Naming The Stars | Notice | The Sound of No One Calling

Naming The Stars

This present tragedy will eventually
turn into myth, and in the mist
of that later telling the bell tolling
now will be a symbol, or, at least,
a sign of something long since lost.

This will be another one of those
loose changes, the rearrangement of
hearts, just parts of old lives
patched together, gathered into
a dim constellation, small consolation.

Look, we will say, you can almost see
the outline there: her fingertips
touching his, the faint fusion
of two bodies breaking into light.


Notice how you show up here and there among
the words I use, that there are small details

that only you would notice, especially when you
notice that I am saying things that I never

said before. And see how easy it is to hear
them now that I am not speaking directly

to you, now that you could be anyone who
happened to read these words, and notice how what

I am saying makes you think of things you
haven't noticed in a long time. Notice how

just when you are thinking that it has to be
you I'm talking to, you notice something in

the story that doesn't fit, something that makes you
doubt that you are the you I was talking to.

Then notice how you are turning away from
me again the way I always say you do.

The Sound of No One Calling

The sound of no one calling is a car
approaching and then heading into
the distance. It's the dishwasher
going through cycles, one
click at a time, a squirrel chattering
in the tree outside the window.

The sound of no one calling is
empty shelves, the scrape of
the scoop at the bottom of the bin.
It's the faint light of the moon
through a cloudy veil, the ocean
inside a shell you hold up to your ear,
each time pretending to hear more.

It's rain on a tin roof—or a window
rattling in the wind, a needle drifting
aimlessly over the tractless vinyl
spinning on the turntable.
It's the furnace kicking in, the house
creaking, the clock, finally, ticking.

< back to the review


"Naming The Stars", "Notice", and "The Sound of No One Calling" appear in Naming the Stars (Duluth: Holy Cow! Press, 2004). © 2004 by Joyce Sutphen. Reprinted with permission from Holy Cow! Press.

© 1999 — 2003, by the poets featured herein.