silence by Nadia Nelson

Silence isn’t quiet

 

I sat in my room listening to the nothing once

Everything still

Like the crumpled pile of laundry in the corner

Like the books collecting dust on the shelf

 

Silent

 

Then the floor above my head creaking

with the footsteps of living beings

The cars on the busy street

on the other side of my tinted window pane

My heart gently beating

 

Silent

 

My roommate making dinner

in the kitchen

Cooking noodles and slipping expletives

Running water to soothe burning fingertips

 

Silent

 

Feeling the carpet under my hands

It’s bristly fibers greeting my palms

My legs in superb crisscross applesauce position

Tense neck

Sore shoulders

 

Silent

 

Breathing

Releasing

Exchanging carbon dioxide and oxygen

Inhale and exhale again

 

Silent

 

The clock on my wall makes no noise

I took the batteries out a long time ago

Because the ticking made me annoyed

And I have enough ticking in my head

 

Silent

 

To sit in the silence

Instead of rushing around

Taking a break from the noise

Not quiet

But still

Frozen

Silence