Sometimes in the quiet
You can hear your own living;
The pulsing echo in your ears
Like the breathy throb
Of a degenerate conch.
The raspy throat of death,
Attempting to trick the steady rhythm
Of the gentle heartbeat in repose.
That sudden pulse
At the back of your head,
That wringing jumble
Of coiled wires poking the senses,
Inducing a gasp
Hyper as a seismograph,
Chest constricting like a bellows.
Is it the inching of groundwater,
The grinding of rock against stone
That makes your bed tremble?
Is it the sighing of old lumber,
A sleepy settling in of tongue upon groove?
Or a distant eighteen-wheeler,
Sending shivers through the tarmac,
Leaving an undulating wake in
The heat-soaked porosity of asphalt?
Exhale slowly until the shaking stops,
And let the comforter suffocate
The shiver of timber and limb.
Count the keys as the veins slip
Into soft metronome beats.
Only in the darkness of death's hallway
Can you hear yourself blink.