[without a listener]

Maxine Chernoff

a voice speaks

to rheumy stars

deadpan witness

no call and response

or supplicant’s hope

all this hurts

the ocean suggests

as if waves

could privilege

ear’s dumb gestures

or a ghost

of a sentence learn

to read its

own dried ink

MAXINE CHERNOFF is the author of six books of fiction and twelve of poetry. With Paul Hoover, she translated The Selected Poems of Frederick Hölderlin, which won the 2009 PEN Translation Award.