No language.
             Just late morning light
glazed in the hairs on your
                        skin, set in the sweat

of my pillow. I don’t need
            you to brush your teeth—
in fact, I don’t need you
                        to get up at all; I have

practiced poise for this
            like I practice music.
There’s a string section
                        of dust motes passing

in front of the window
            as the cat walks across the sill.
Each pawprint a syllable
                        in a word I dare not say,

or a record of what happens
            here. Of what wasn’t heard.
No need for consonance;
                        I quarter-rest next to you all

            morning waiting for the coda,
bring the reed to my lips
            before our bodies' chorus.


Jacob Rivers is the author of the chapbook Eros the Length of a Sentence. He manages a global humanities network at The Hannah Arendt Center, Bard College, and lives in Hudson, NY.