Published on Academy of American Poets (

Mixed with always:

Your songs
        	are the impossible ruins
        	that keep the hours on turn.
        	Keep awe bare like
sound at night.
The candle burn. Ice
melts and wax. The dirt
on your mind. Engines roll
in clutter. Clank cool
and electrify the room.
We always
become mysterious—
birds at the end of each evening.
Whoever does the telling stops
time like a crescendo. We hit
blue notes so the edges
of your honey jars rattle laughter
against our teeth.
Rhythm breaks
like need or the knowledge
a mouth organ has
about breath and tone, blood
and gravity and balance—
all those sweet sounds
that can make even
windows shatter.


Copyright © 2018 by Soham Patel. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 16, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This is a page from a larger collection titled to afar from afar. I was thinking about sound and the difficulty of war—the harmonica shows up to help think through it. Some of the phrasing owes debt to the poet Kate Beles.”
—Soham Patel


Soham Patel

Soham Patel is the author, most recently, of the poetry collections to afar from afar (Writ Large Press, 2018) and ever really hear it (Subito Press, 2018).

Date Published: 2018-02-16

Source URL: