An Appropriate Violence – a poem by Maura H. Harrison

An Appropriate Violence 
We’re all alone, at home, and drinking data. 
The Wi-Fi fuels our drunk cacophony 
Of beeps and buzzes, warning rings and dings, 
And “like” alerts. The clamor builds and breaks 
Our focus. Frenzied noise destroys our words 
And interrupts our day into a city 
Of disconnected hours where thoughts and minutes 
Are next-door strangers. Quick and cold, we look 
Away, we lock the doors and draw the curtains. 
Inside the noise, we never have to think 
Or feel a drought, the desert’s calling voice. 
We can ignore the quiet’s seeking thirst by 
Feeding our poverty a noisy glut. 
We send away the silent invitation. 
But when the power’s out, the silence sings 
And stops the subtle hum of house. Our screens 
Fall dark, black mirrors that can’t connect. And so 
We gaze into a vague familiar hint 
Of mystery somewhere beyond our reach. 
We’re lured to desert solitude where time 
And thoughts collect, reflect mirage, and ripple 
Thirst for a purpose. Here, we struggle. Here 
We crack our will and face temptation. Seeking 
Just like Elijah: listening to wind, 
To earth, to fire, and lastly to the still 
Small voice of violent tenderness, the hush 
That opens hearts to let the truth sink in. 
This is a privileged time, the desert hour, 
Where we are ground, where we are crushed, where we 
Rend hearts with whispers in the wilderness. 

Maura H. Harrison is a poetry student in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at the University of St. Thomas, Houston. She lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia. 

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