Excerpt from Margin of Silence by J.P. Dancing Bear


This poem appears in our 2010 print issue 13. The entire issue is available in Kindle format.

For Moira Egan

you talk about the /margin of silence/: this twilight hour: how it puts holes in the body: where the lungs and the diaphragm live: you say /this is the real Witching Hour/: voiceless: wrapped blind in a shroud: with the light boring through you: no, no—this is how you feel: as though you have taken a vow: and this moment when the sun is already past the shoulder of the earth: when night is rushing: this margin: when the animal shifts are beginning and ending: here where departure and entry are done in soundless respect: you sit taking in the quietude: the music of pause: here it would be so easy to plummet into prayer: sheet flapping in the wind: you say /in this hour I was a mere ghost/: /I did not wander outside my shell/: /I sat in the margin of silence/: /refusing to follow/: /refusing to leave/

JP Dancing BearJ.P. Dancing Bear is editor for the American Poetry Journal and Dream Horse Press. Bear also hosts the weekly hour-long poetry show, Out of Our Minds, on public station, KKUP and available as podcasts. He is the author of thirteen collections of poetry, his latest book is Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014), his fourteenth and fifteenth collections respectively, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre) and Fish Singing Foxes (Salmon Poetry) were released in 2015. His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary ReviewCrazyhorse, the Cimmaron Review, and elsewhere.

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