You know how it is when the room
goes quiet for the one
who’ll always be heard and you
pretend to listen, but really
you’re humming a stream
in your head, watching the woodgrain
floor roil like water
that’s changed its mind
at the bottom of a weir, but is caught
in its own froth. And you think
about how, before cascading,
it must have been a smooth thing,
carrying cloud and impressionist trees,
and only made sound when it rained.