sotto voce

they lean in and baffle
at something new
and aloof
that is unheard of

we know how this goes
whoever shouts he loudest
gets the most attention
and so we hum at each other for days

even machines splutter
when there is no
hissing, spitting
doublespeak to print

ungracious air swoops
to seek a more able
orator of style and
stinking vibrato

line up and clap
to fill a void
when there is silence
fizzing in a microwave

can you hear that?
these plumes of lingua franca
that douse deaf ears
like a blanket for fire

put this shell to your ear
and beg for repetition
from another world
that only waves goodbye on repeat