What We Cannot Hear
They shove Sonya into the army jeep
one morning, one morning, one morning in May, one dime-bright morning—
they shove her
and she zigzags and turns and trips in silence
which is a soul’s noise.
Sonya, who once said, On the day of my arrest I will be playing piano.
We watch four men
and we think we see hundreds of old pianos forming a bridge
from Arlemovsk to Tedna Street, and she
waits at each piano—
and what remains of her is
that speaks with its fingers,
what remains of a puppet is this woman, what remains
of her (they took you, Sonya)—the voice we cannot hear—is the clearest voice.
From Deaf Republic. Copyright © 2019 by Ilya Kaminsky. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Graywolf Press.