Redefining north.

21st Century Soundscape by James A.H. White


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21st Century Soundscape

we’ve been reminded [again]
there’s a time and place
for everything.

That our fate will arrive in the frame
of another          Post:          gun barrel
Pre:            opened door.

Do you imagine                    in the end,
we’ll finally hear
the difference between
a gunshot and truck backfire?

How, after the reveal behind door number __,
we’ll have decided whether it best to run

or do what I once heard
we should:          First:         cover our hands
in the blood of another
Then:         smear.

Was it for you as it was for me—
listening to a survivor describe on the radio
the scene inside the church
inside the school
inside the club, on the sidewalk
as a “chaos collection.”

Images that’ll stay with her
not as memories          but premonitions
for what she believes she’ll “no doubt see again.”

On the way to work, I remember last night’s dream:
A.   globes
B.   lines
C.   points     drifting in silence—

a            scene I described to my partner, a scholar of the Cosmos,
as          a landscape I thought I heard after waking:
an         orchestral reprise of everything innocent
falling   at once.

James A.H. White holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University, where he was the Lawrence A. Sanders poet fellow. A winner of the 2014 AWP Intro Journals Project award in Poetry, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Cha, Gertrude, Tahoma Literary Review, and DIAGRAM, among others. He is the author of hiku [pull], a chapbook (Porkbelly Press, 2016). A first-generation Japanese-American, James currently resides in South Florida with his partner, John, and their two dogs.

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