Whisper your twelve decibels of love
to drown the heavy traffic's ninety-four.
Not for me the seven score
of jet or heavy metal
(though some love these
when thresholds ease
as hearts recalibrate their scales).
Outside is only amplitude
the loudness lies within
where pain and impercipience
define its narrow range.
A subtle change
of pressures in the air
frets through the fine combs of the ear
and makes no greater stir
than would a wayward lock of hair.
This is the aural frontier
where medium and creature meet,
where comb and hair in silence
turn base configurations into sound -
perhaps the most disfigured sounds on earth,
or Graham's 'one good sound',
the music nature makes occurring.
So now a reservation as I find myself preferring
even megadecibels (in patterned regularity)
to any soft dishelvelment of noise.
I will not hear the scream Munch heard,
so magnify for me the sound of birds
and cherish above all,
the sound of love.
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