Funereal Dirge for Silence
i open my mouth and no sound comes out. the sound that is silence comes pouring over my teeth and my tongue past my lips like drool down my chin drizzling the concrete beneath my feet and it is a silence such that has never been heard. in this sound i am regurgitating all the silences i have not inherited through dna or blood memory or teaching scrolls or sexual transmission. the silences i have not inherited choke me, clog my throat with tears that never had a chance to fall but i like that sometimes, i like that. we are learning collectively to tune our eardrums to this silence. rest, rest, rest, rest. a four-on-the-floor beat. a man in a pressed suit comes by and politely tells me to wipe my chin, please, would i please stop vomiting silence all over the floor because i’m scaring the customers. but it’s too late for him, the silence is already past his knees and he’s splashing around in it, his pants getting ruined in the cold wet absence. it’s still coming. five hundred or more years of silences are being ejected from my body, rejected from my body, coming out in my spit and my sweat and my tears and my come. a silent choir comes to attend to my purge. they can hear the four-on-the-floor. they are singing now too. rest, rest, rest, rest.
Kai Minosh Pyle is a Two-Spirit Métis and Bawiting Nishnaabe writer originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Currently based in Bde Ota Othunwe (Minneapolis), they are a PhD student researching Anishinaabe Two-Spirit history. Their first poetry chapbook, AANAWI GO, was published monolingually in Ojibwe in January 2020.