Acute deafness

by Michael Wynn (the author’s own translation from Norwegian)

When an old woman dies,
her face is washed in the sand
where naked children play,
the clocks fall silent.
Ding dang dong,
the bells say gone.
Flowers wither
like regular steps over linoleum,
divine choreography, our sincere condolences.

Hysterical laughter in chaotic measure
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Fingers drum like drops of rain on the office desk
while each man reaches for his umbrella:
Can you hear what we’re saying? Can you hear what we’re saying?
About forms that must be completed
because the curtains must be drawn aside
before you can sleep.

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