Marianne Boruch
The Sound and Silence of the World Now

One of them, a black-marketeer hoarding chocolate 

and mayonnaise, acquired

god knows, hero of the neighborhood party, some place 

hard to pronounce, on radio 

all that cheering and static across mountains and cities 

and wires and rivers unto ocean and airspace and star-studded orbits—

alone in my kitchen is the sound 


and silence of the world now.  How not to love 

his generous graft?  How not to be the small child or that 

ancient one over and over with her story about the cat, 

or the clear-eyed, bad tempered 

old guy of lament and rue and I-told-you-so

enraptured by the sudden what a score  


middle of winter, deep snow in this village I never heard of but 

could lie twisted in my gene pool, that wily 

spool of fortune.  At least thirty people!  A single lit house  

on a street of houses, nine bicycles this cold, three motorbikes, one 

shiny car, one rusting out near the ditch.  How not to 

invent more, to see him pull that sweet-heavy dark from his pack 

and what will make the thick black bread

soaked through, lovely mess. He holds it high as fable—oh chocolate,


the very best, and mayonnaise too. And who 

can’t see plainly—more cheers!—the welcome everyone of it, 

the well come, the have some, you go first, little one in the noise,


here.  Where outside the yard has doubled in crows if you count 

their shadows in the drifts but I will not 

and I do not for a while.

Found In Volume 43, No. 03
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Marianne Boruch
About the Author

Marianne Boruch’s eighth poetry collection—Cadaver, Speak—was published this spring by Copper Canyon Press which brought out The Book of Hours, last year’s Kingsley-Tufts Poetry Award winner. Her memoir is The Glimpse Traveler, (Indiana, 2011). She teaches in Purdue University’s MFA program, and in the low residency Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.