Don’t sing to me. Don’t sing.
Don’t teach me to dream.

Your song, rising from your lips
to press against my ear.
Your song, which with softness grips

me and draws a corresponding air,
a wordless antiphon. A reply
pressing in return, silent and sincere.

So we both draw together and rise,
music crossed with stillness – unseen
notes counterpointed with sighs.

And in the space that intervenes
between us, the friction wrought
by the distance over which we meet,

ascends a structure of sound and naught.
Archways of refrain, the marks and
gaps on a music sheet – pulled taut

between us. Strains held and spanned,
curving along at harmonic degrees.
A vaulted chamber of mirrored bands

that in their similarities inversely disagree.
The air braces invisible crossways suspired
by interminable possibilities of unsung ecstasy.

We converge in the architecture of a desire
unseen and so unshorn of its embodiment,
and for this it dies continually in a flameless fire.

A song unburning, emptiness elating sentiment,
a dream half-formed and hanging half-seen,
discomposing hallways leaned against fulfillment.

And when you cease to sing, and I to dream,
and the notes tremble away with the silence,
then we each are left shivering –

alone in the ruined cathedral where
song and dream once twined in air.

by Anne M. Carpenter