Seventeens: Acoustics by Amit Majmudar (Indian-American, contemporary)
A hand must pass the strings for them to sound.
The absence of the touch is what resounds.
Axon for axon, we are strung, we are
A kind of neurological guitar
A star has strummed to music. Our musician
Has touched us once, gone quiet now to listen—
Is this mind flat or sharp? How well’s it tuned?
The absence of his hand is opportune,
His famous silence proof we have his ear.
Reverberation needs the aisles clear,
And rumination needs some room to roam.
If he were here, these rhymes would stay at home,
And all that’s hard and hardest-won in us
Be obviated by the obvious.
Have your hosanna, I prefer the hush.
Check the acoustics in this empty hall.
Not the faintest echo when you call.