I am in love with silence
The way it can fracture a room

how it moves across the stairway
through you
as if you wore the wrong dress

I step in and out of the false quiet
as if it is a kept woman
as if it understands the agreements of
entrance and exit

I hold its hand, only when convenient
only behind the champagne table
when no one else is looking

I act as if the wooden beams of the ceiling
are not falling

I pretend this room was not
built on a fault line
I pretend the plates of language
have not slipped like a loose jaw bone

and I am not standing here
bracing myself
in a doorway
already collapsing

Infatuation by Connie Post

Photo from page 193 of “The San Francisco earthquake and fire; a brief history of the disaster; a presentation of facts and resulting phenomena, with special reference to the efficiency of building materials, lessons of the disaster” (1906)