Silence Refashioned

Today the dog
won’t stop whimpering,
and if that lady upstairs
doesn’t stop practicing for the catwalk in galoshes
I’ll die
an even slower death
than I thought I would.
is a word dogs don’t respond to
in the way that humans do,
pausing for a moment at least
in whatever vexatious activity they’ve embarked on
to ponder a question
never meant to be answered.
Like, why rent an apartment to clomp around in all day
in heavy-duty rain boots?

I bark “Why” at the ceiling
and the dog thinks I’m adding
to his plaintive tune
with my question,
and doesn’t slow for an instant,
even throwing back his head
and farting a little.

So I trot off doglessly
in my mind to some neighborless observatory
where they’re studying a trestle
that might be near collapse.
Or they’re studying the abyss
the trestle spans,
which could give way
at any second.

I switch off the instruments,
loosen their bolts and through the open window
facing the trestle, I toss my shiny pebbles
at the web of steel
one by one—
pings followed by silence
as lasting or as brief
as I wish.