In the audiologist’s booth I clutch the device with the button
I’m to press if I hear a tone, hand clammy, the way
a child holds the finger of an adult she thinks can save her.
Behind the one-way glass, my ears are cupped in the pinching
headset, cilia becalmed, the quiet so thick I cannot stop
myself from thinking of Jupiter, its plentiful moons
I’m afraid to look at through the telescope, the stillness out there strong
enough to suck me in. What small sound might those moons make,
spinning in their vacuum, while I sit for what I know is too long
between tones? I’m here to bear witness to this deafness
that expands imperceptibly, the way the universe, they say,
is expanding even as my world narrows, sound swirling round the drain
of this loss. Into the silence of the audiologist’s booth
fall consonants, vowels, rain against my windows, my lover’s voice
disappearing like a star’s light being swallowed and swallowed as it dies.