sound installation

at the sound installation in Toronto
we wait to hear
we are waiting with our ears
for the transmutation of birdsong to percussion, for the sound
of piano keys plucked to life
             by the call of dying birds

in the sculpture garden
             the only shape is sound
we are waiting for the carving of air
made by vibration
             but the speakers don’t breathe
except when a chord slips out,
a sigh

’iyó· x̣o’sa
I am waiting
for grief to lift, for a new story
            to arrive. The city vibrates with memories
and sounds that were birds are now hammers
on wire. Still

we are waiting to hear
conscripted to sing their own dirge
on replay, over and over, while the local birds
             chatter and play, tossing notes
back and forth                       kíne koná
back and forth                       kíne koná
back and forth                       kíne

             I suddenly hear it, after waiting
I suddenly hear
More Poems by Beth Piatote