John McCarthy

Noise Falling Backwards 

​I’ve been told not to come here—to this tool shed of memory,
where everything is as old as it is useless. Inside, a scoop of millet seed

balances on a mulch sack. There are garbage bags full
of crushed Natural Light cans exhaling. Trespassing, I feel

like everything is a discovery—the open slat window, the salt licks

meant for nesting in the laps of tree stumps, the way the dust meanders
through the light like a premonition.

Outside, mare’s tail clouds run wild and smear the sky orange
at the end of a long day, and a hummingbird feeder hangs from the mulberry.
No one has come for me yet. Silence is just noise falling backwards

           from the future, and I don’t know what to do with it.
I haven’t lived through it yet. It’s like wiping my eyes in the rain.