This Compulsion to Make, and Keep, Everything Alive

In this land of drum
beats rhythms announce
us our movements
actions our thoughts here
you are the event we
are all happenings all
with an end just not
an end in sight. Yes
with everything so
punctuated you might
say we’re desensitized
but not habituated when
the faucet drips we
hear it or at least
I do but it’s not an
annoyance it’s another
pulse another instrument
in the orchestra. We are
thus propelled and desire
propulsion make no
mind the chicken egg
dilemma we value
differently so it should
be no surprise we react
perhaps too harshly to
a slowing of the tempo
to diminuendo we have
a responsibility to
every beat no matter
how ridiculous everything
that sounds like
a heart is a heart is
alive is all our lives
is the only thing
worth living for.

***

Brianna Noll is the author of The Era of Discontent, forthcoming from Elixir Press in 2021, and The Price of Scarlet (University Press of Kentucky, 2017), which was named one of the top poetry books of 2017 by the Chicago Review of Books. She is poetry editor of The Account, which she helped found, and her poems and translations have appeared widely in journals, including the Kenyon Review OnlineThe Georgia ReviewPrairie SchoonerCrazyhorse, and Waxwing. She lives in Los Angeles.

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