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MC DANIEL, Jefffrey


The Quiet world

In an effort to get people to look

into each other’s eyes more,

and also to appease the mutes,

the government has decided

to allot each person exactly one hundred

and sixty-seven words, per day.


When the phone rings, I put it to my ear

without saying hello. In the restaurant

I point at chicken noodle soup.

I am adjusting well to the new way.


Late at night, I call my long distance lover,

proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.

I saved the rest for you.


When she doesn’t respond,

I know she’s used up all her words,

so I slowly whisper I love you

thirty-two and a third times.

After that, we just sit on the line

and listen to each other breathe.