The Quiet Machine

I’m learning so many different ways to be quiet. There’s how I stand
in the lawn, that’s one way. There’s also how I stand in the field
across from the street, that’s another way because I’m farther from
people and therefore more likely to be alone. There’s how I don’t
answer the phone, and how I sometimes like to lie down on the
floor of the kitchen and pretend I’m not home when people knock.
There’s daytime silent when I stare and nighttime silent when I
do things. There’s shower silent and bath silent and California silent
and Kentucky silent and car silent. And then there’s the silence that
comes back a million times bigger than me, sneaks into my bones
and wails and wails and wails until I can’t be quiet anymore.
That’s how this machine works.

Copyright © Ada Limón. Used with permission from Milkweed Editions.