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  • Hannah Hinsch

The Sound: For Anne

After “Monet Refuses the Operation” by Lisel Mueller

for Anne on her birthday

You have seen

my youthful errors, made

over and over—words bent wrong

until they crunch like

snapped fibulas.

It will take me all my life

to arrive at the way sweat pools

in a blue-veined wrist as the neighborhood

dog barks, to arrive

at the gangrenous leg idling on ice

in your passenger seat, and,

finally, at the heart’s delicate machinery

suspended in blue, above

and below water, lilies on water—

and what can I say to convince you

that what I have heard

is enough to sustain the Sound’s fluid dream in me,

each word a sonic boom that ripples still,

an iambic heartbeat over each starry night?

Indeed, sound becomes what it touches,

translucent skin taut over drum until we hear

the sound of our own blood,

how infinitely the heart expands to claim this world,

blue vapor without end, blue as blood,

and two white lilies float each

away over the Sound, white wrists

extended like sails

to paint the wind.

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