What are they doing in the next room?

is it substantial? or in?
is it more than the sum of my
labors? more than today’s, yesterday’s?

Are they interested in feelings?
They seem to have a lot of them,
more colored and richer than mine.
The kind of feelings that give them

all kinds of credibility, since who else
could feel them so acutely?
“Feelings Are Not Wrong or Right,
They Breed” will be my next tattoo,

next to the tattoo I already
regret, “Me + Them” in a heart composed
of barbed wire. The furniture
is being rearranged, rather,

scraped across the wood floor
and the commotion seems self-important.
Are they barricading the door?
Are they being imprisoned? by whom?

I won’t worry too much about this,
Surely they will let me know
when it’s time, when they explode.
I don’t have such complaints, or I do
but maybe not so urgent ones

considering the condition of
everything else in the world, which is
them. But what could be that noise?
a mournful cri de coeur

followed by an utterly believable moan.
They would let me know if I should be
braver, I guess, but if
that sound came from a person

I hope they let me know how
mine compare. Or should I
pretend I don’t care? Could someone
really be shooting a gun in there?
Maybe it’s only a cork decorking
or the sudden exhale of one in a state
of deep satisfaction, though
is that possible anymore, is it?


Connie Voisine is the author of three books of poems, the most recent is Calle Florista. She has had poems published in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. She currently lives in either New Mexico, Chicago, or Belfast, Northern Ireland.