Silence snaps in the wind
next to a Confederate flag
on the back of a pickup truck.
On a Sunday afternoon, silence
carves into a farmer’s throat.
It grows behind the chicken coup.
Silence is on Post Road across the street
from jail. It shuffles across cement floors
in sandals and white socks, sits under
a pill in a paper cup.
Drug addicts overdose on silence
behind the warehouse near Exit 52.
Silence is a needle mark between toes.
It is the dirt under my fingernails.
Exhaust pipes and horses choke
on silence. Engines and people
and guns tried to sink silence
in the Susquehanna River,
but silence shot back and started war.
Nicole Santalucia is the author of Because I Did Not Die (Bordighera Press). She is a recipient of the Ruby Irene Poetry Chapbook Prize and the Edna St. Vincent Millay Poetry Prize. She teaches at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania and brings poetry workshops into the Cumberland County Prison, Shippensburg Public Library, the Boys & Girls Club, and local nursing homes.