By Felicia Murrell | ONEING Vol. 9 No. 1 | Trauma
If you’re silent,
you can hear the forest breathe, the holy hush of the tree’s limb.
“Silence,” said Thomas Merton, “is God’s first language”: the way it soaks into your skin,
blanketing you like the forest’s breath.
The cadence of the land at rest, the body asleep,
the heart awake.
The deep rhythmic breathing of a mind slowed down, an ocean still,
wet dew clinging to grass blade.
The sacred song trapped in a bird’s breast before its first
the still of night across a desert landscape
wrapped in a bone-aching chill
before the sun rises to scorch its parched earth.
The lusty gaze of onlookers staring at the negro on the
lynching tree, neck snapped,
feet dangling, back and forth, back and forth.
Hands up, don’t shoot!
Body thrumming with a heady sense of power. Hands in pocket,
resting pose, knees embedded into a man’s neck.
Silence, please. I. Can’t. Breathe.
Oneing: Trauma is available now in print or as a downloadable PDF.