What I Didn’t Hear

By Jed Myers

Thought I had an ear for murmurs.
My head between her breasts, after,

that fast repeated whisper, tail
to the comet of each pulse. I’d kiss her

flushed mortal chest, and listen
longer—the soft, persistent

turbulence there are no words for.
Song a life sings to the closing

distance of death. Our sweats
mixed, we’d drift the swells

of breath toward sleep and the next
new light. Years like this.

But I never detected the shift
in the aortic eddy, a disturbance

in too deep a register, blood carving
an exit, her spirit’s secret

channel out through the clay
of our closeness. I had no ear

for that constant erosive rub
of self on self. She left one day

for the desert, with plenty of life in her.


Jed Myers is a Philadelphian living in Seattle. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Nimrod International Journal, Golden Handcuffs Review, Atlanta Review, The Quotable, Jabberwock Review, Grey Sparrow, Crab Creek Review, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Rose Alley Press anthology Many Trails to the Summit, and elsewhere. He’s received several recent awards, among them the 2012 Mary C. Mohr Editors’ Award from Southern Indiana Review, and Honorable Mention for the 2013 Norton Girault Literary Prize from Barely South Review. Jed is a psychiatrist with a therapy practice, and he teaches at the University of Washington.

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