A Companion to Harry Bertoia's "Sound Sculpture"Mature

an ekphrasis.
familiarizing yourself with "Sound Sculpture" may enrich your understanding of this poem.

I will try not to look at it.
Several floors down, where it stands, or floats or sits or lies.
It keeps clanging and setting me on the edge of these steps.

Something scratches at my skin,
words scream to be let out so they may splatter
like blood from wrists. The sound of the metal reverberates
like the sound of my best friend telling me she’s
attempted
suicide.

There is always that sound inside me.

I hear the artwork clang again.
It sounds like sliding, scraping, skating
It sounds like chaos
It sounds like my mind, running on four
limbs because it’s running on four
hours of sleep and two shots of espresso.
It sounds like howling –
or maybe I overdosed on Ginsberg.

Another place, I have heard this sound.
Everytime the artwork speaks, it sounds
like a death knoll
like everytime my dad said we were moving
like when my sister stopped eating
like when my other sister went homeless ‘cause she didn’t want to obey the rules at home
or like when the boy I thought loved me loved her, instead.

I hear metal hit metal again
I know I ought to look at it; still,
not seeing it
not knowing where it is
not knowing who created it
almost lets me believe it belongs to me.

The End

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