Elegy for a White-Noise Machine

My eyelids bowed to daylight and rose 

with the evening moon to the sounds 

of your absence. Hunger fills itself 


with contracting groans, the ability to feel

a different ache. Cars cascade over flatlined


roads, their rumbling fades in and out 

of my window—a remnant of coordinates 

passed. Mumbled man-laughs from the floor


above echo. The orchestral music 

of a video game palpitates with rounds 

of gunfire, tinting my room a beating


black. Outside, the fountain’s drip 

is louder now. We used to mistake


its trickle for rain. But our bodies knew 

it wasn’t the still of morning soaked 

and leaking. My body knows this quiet


and these sounds are filled 

with everything but you. I cradle the curve 


of my torso. You, an asymptote 



Poem by Emma DePanise

Art by William Crawford