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‘the only truth is grief and grief is the sound of silence’ by Jennifer Wolkin

— Joyce Chong

but I know we can’t measure the truth

of your suffering
even when the shiva house
is full of guests

I am becoming a cliche with the type of work I like to highlight here, but this poem, unlike me, is not cliched at all. Published in the latest issue of Noble / Gas Qtrly, ‘the only truth is grief and grief is the sound of silence’ by Jennifer Wolkin is a perusal of grief and the indecipherable, only-too-distant, circumstances surrounding loss.

This poem is also an exercise in compassion, towards the self, and towards a place of grieving that seeks to understand the hurt beyond simply feeling it. Grief as a unit of measure for distance traveled, for losses encompassed. There is a quiet loneliness in having grief made simple, a space made up only of lack; the absence of sound otherwise expected.

the only tangible truth is the grief, and the grief-
now a noose with your name, and your name-

a call with no response


Noble / Gas Qtrly