On steel earth and dog heat
    The dogs wept.
    Not silence.
    Not even the silence of the cage
    After it breaks, from the dull river of your breathing
    And the river of your bloodstream.
    And the wet crackling of your mouth.

    Not the silence of the trees
    Nor the whispered hush from nightwalls escaping;
    Only the amplification of a rat’s heart.
    The dumb dust road’s expression.
    Leaves being picked up,
    And with a sigh let down.
    The slow walking vagrant determined
    To beat our silences by walking.

    And now, in animal red
    From a tree of bones
    The murmuring convicts
    Start singing …