CHAIN 2: Tinnitus as a Form of Pareidolia

Within a whisper, a wisp
of her ringing. An offering:
here there be monsters, terse
as a hearse, her iris rife with if,
a fire irate at aching, aching
a kind thing akin to skin
asking to sin against sense
since senses send us sordid
idioms made mostly of sly
almosts like motes of dust
stirred up, steered into dance.
My penchant for penance
a chance to change an anger
grown into a crown worn
ornery to a confession
eschewed, choosing to sing  
a coarse curse. Of course,
mostly my accounts count
out that, at the moment
of movement in which
a breeze eases into a wind,
had I listened, I might have
heard hurt, heard her haunt,
if I ever heard anything then,
if I ever hear anything at all.

Zackary Medlin is the winner of the Nancy D. Hargrove Editor’s Choice Prize, the Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry, and a recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award. He holds an MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Utah. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, The Cincinnati Review, Grist, and most recently in Tinderbox Poetry and The Boiler.


If you want to be the next link in this poetic chain, send us one poem that creatively responds to Medlin’s Tinnitus as a Form of Pareidolia by October 15, 2020 — visit our Submittable for guidelines