Chance the clear cadence of destiny echoing 

past the last city of pomegranates 

plundered by grace; stand as a fool, fulfilled,

at the edge of this agony and ascend its twisted stair

like those who stumbled among the stars

only to fall again into the sea.

What of this venture prevails

in the muted rasp of the nightingale 

timing her revenge upon a Thracian bough,

a totem asking of us more than we can bear?

Underneath the dark revelation of sky, 

this realm of suffering, its design,

specific and irreducible; the wound 

trying at our heel through the surge of the past

appears to us a cruel filter

at the behest of which we live 

on the expectation for the daub of compensation.

Nothing scanned beneath the tyrant sun is crystalline,

but this infinite distance, this tearing apart,

through which its echo flies

weighing its body against the silence:

this, our fortune, the wound of our lives… 

When we have learnt to thrive, to hear the silence,

this is what we grasp more distinctly through it.


Adam S. Mahout is an undergraduate at University of North Texas. His poems have been published in the International Human Rights Arts Festival, North Texas Review, and Spiderweb Salon.