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Say Again Your Last

From: Prairie Schooner
Volume 87, Number 4, Winter 2013
p. 61 | 10.1353/psg.2013.0145

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Ears to the sphinx, we wait, the net left open
for parents talking low through music downstairs at night,
lawnmowers shaking our arms, coughing out the summer,
and doctors checking our rasping winter lungs,
reminding us to breathe.
    The ocean can sound like static,
like wind can, the dry leaf sound of forests going bare, emptiness
filled with this cataract sound of rain and waterfalls
here in the desert, radios amplifying the splitting particles.
This voiceless exhale of a world in reduction is what we hear
even when there is no conversation, no forces at work but entropy
disguised in the buzz of insects.
        We have agreed to these terms,
to tear ourselves apart with sound immense enough to open the earth
and here, in the explosions, our disappearance begins.
            There is a separate speech
in war. We repeat ourselves, deaf, our teeth showing, biting at the air. Say again
your last. Nothing but fragments yelled away, dust in every breath.

Benjamin Busch  

Benjamin Busch served sixteen years as an infantry and light armored reconnaissance officer in the US Marine Corps, deploying to Iraq in 2003 and 2005. He is the author of Dust to Dust (Ecco), and his work has appeared in Harper’s, New York Times Magazine, North American Review, and npr ’s All Things Considered.

Copyright © 2013 University of Nebraska Press
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Benjamin Busch. "Say Again Your Last." Prairie Schooner 87.4 (2013): 61-61. Project MUSE. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Busch, B.(2013). Say Again Your Last. Prairie Schooner 87(4), 61. University of Nebraska Press. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Benjamin Busch. "Say Again Your Last." Prairie Schooner 87, no. 4 (2013): 61-61. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed January 27, 2014).
T1 - Say Again Your Last
A1 - Benjamin Busch
JF - Prairie Schooner
VL - 87
IS - 4
SP - 61
EP - 61
PY - 2013
PB - University of Nebraska Press
SN - 1542-426X
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/prairie_schooner/v087/87.4.busch.html
N1 - Volume 87, Number 4, Winter 2013
ER -


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