Sound Mother

Before we ever spoke,

my mother and I

were a universe

of electric song:

We dreamt the frequency

of tsunami and supernova,

the rumble of a distant star,

a steady, repeating, familiar howl,

continuing before the page

of white noise was printed.

She telephones at work, midday –

Her voiceprint emerges

amid sheets of static.

I do not understand

what she is saying;

I cannot make sense

of the sounds. We

keep the line open

for four minutes.

There is too much interference now.

I hear the conversations

of all the other sons with their mothers;

A double-note of music,

a siren, a newsflash,

a call from a well, from deep wood,

from the back of a van,

shattering glass on the bathroom floor.

Scientists recline

on the hoods of their cars

in the desert and listen

to the sky through headphones,

their heartbeats join

the din of the universe,

the songs they sang

with their mothers.