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Matthew Sheppard, eight years ago today

Sounds
by Karen Bashkirew


They say the sounds we make
will travel through space
forever--
through our spinning solar system,
through the wheeling disc of our galaxy,
through what we imagine our universe to be,
we can't begin to imagine.

They say we cannot call a sound back,
cannot erase a sound,
can't catch it up and change it,
no matter how many hymns and prayers
we send chasing after it.
A sound goes on and on and on.

Can you imagine the sounds he made,
how they must have echoed in the clear
Wyoming air

Can you imagine the sounds they made,
pistol whipping, shattering his skull

Can you imagine the sounds he made
as he hung, tied to a fence, broken and bleeding,
through the bitter night, and the whole next day

Can you imagine the sounds she made
when she heard what they did to her child

These sounds
are streaking through space forever.
These sounds
are shattering stars.
These sounds
will shatter
brightness forever
we can't begin to imagine.

A sound goes on and on and on...

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