Tomás Q. Morín

Royal Silence

This much I know, as I came down the mountain
and the valleys were revealed and my ears
clogged so that all I could hear was the inside
of my own head, I became a brother for a while
to the nineteenth-century hunter who dressed
in that green between olive and ivy, the one the Jets
still wear, though they haven’t been in the hunt
since Broadway Joe wore pantyhose for Beautymist
or danced around the Orange Bowl like a buck
in rut darting and dodging across a field of blue
daisies in late fall, a dumb creature to be sure
for all its nobility, and I probably couldn’t
ever shoot one, not that I’ve tried, besides
someone said you shouldn’t carry loathing
in your heart when you aim at a deer or a grouse
or a bear, which it would pain me to do,
especially the bear, who can sound like a Hare Krishna
when he’s happy, his head bobbing, every huff
and grunt in a clear timbre, except when he’s angry,
the bear that is, his pitch is closer to a bull’s
or a bullfrog’s, a bull bullfrog declaiming
in a Polish accent that silence is royal,
and natural, and that the world only speaks
when we have committed a sin or two
against it—this is an old ribbit, he says, retold
over and over through history; think Memphis
and Rwanda, think Chile and Warsaw, think
New Delhi and Granada where that romantic
disciple of everything green who is dead, who was shot,
that sleepless King of the pond, still croaks
into the green wind Verde que te quiero verde
loud enough to wake the dead and keep them so.