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Our Silence Stands

After Ilya Kaminsky’s “The Townspeople Watch Them Take Alfonso”

Our silence stands up for us.

You hear it in the bend of our knees.

          Our knees creak, straighten, but

          we don’t disturb the dust in the air.

The air flattens around us, covers us in

thin layers of thread as we feel our heat rise.

          Our heat rises as we gaze upward,

          expecting an absence of clouds.

Clouds are always the first to leave the room

before the noise can return to the lectern.

          The lectern collapses along with the ceiling

          above us once the noise finally tests the mic.

The mic expects us to respond to the breaking,

but instead our silence stands up for us.


ALEX CARRIGAN (he/him) is a Pushcart-nominated editor, poet, and critic from Alexandria, VA. He is the author of Now Let’s Get Brunch: A Collection of RuPaul’s Drag Race Twitter Poetry (Querencia Press, 2023) and May All Our Pain Be Champagne: A Collection of Real Housewives Twitter Poetry (Alien Buddha Press, 2022). Visit or follow him on Twitter @carriganak for more info.

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