The Sound of Falling

Whispers are falling

on the rooftop. The chatter of night

rain drips among the stones,

takes root and collects in vessels

that hours before were

only bowls full of night,

reflecting no one, remembering

nothing not spoken, not yet broken

beyond the tongue. These

whispers claim the heart is

an aging wine. These whispers

say your father is falling with the rain.


Yes, there’s something odd

about the sound of all this

falling, this clatter of night

stammering beneath the eaves.

It’s grief that gathers in vessels

that only minutes before were

but time spinning the wheel

of night, still remembering

no one, still reflecting nothing

not spoken or broken

beyond the tongue’s missing shadow.

This sound of falling tells you to

think of your eye as a new religion.

This sound tells you that

your father will always be

falling inside these rooms of rain.


Vernon Fowlkes Jr. lives and writes in Mobile, Ala.

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