The Many Faces of Silence | The New Engagement

The Many Faces of Silence

By Laura Cesarco Eglin
The Many Faces of Silence art


Your ways of keeping silent
force me to lose
count and watch how close
I come to reaching outside
myself for words I know
as a script knows that
its language is never
actually real

make believe is wanting
to substitute—make believe
is making truth

so I look for a backpack I can’t
really carry and leave
it behind with not knowing
as a nightmare
closing my eyes every chance
I make to go to nightmares
stand in their midst


out of words out of
reason into silence
that's real and full and wiser



There is no silence when you decide
to not speak to me. I still hear
language in whatever step

there’s a thought

I move your alphabet away
from my palate, tired of tasting
my blood on predator’s teeth. You
lick them clean mistaking absence
for silence and more.

There are voices in what I breathe
I look for a language
to sustain a meditation and my mouth
belongs to me again
So leave, or stay, or be—your silence
does not hold my tongue



A nap yields fantasies that must be
returned as soon as it is over. As if
it were a library and someone else
could have those fantasies and make
them different, make them theirs and
forget and not know that you were
the previous user that you still hold them
in intimacy

time for shedding your own skin

time for a few days of not having
to talk as a form of fitting in

and then something will happen
in the sky without the technicalities
of why it is always painted light
blue when I’ve seen the spectrum

one is always missing—it’s green

the color of leaves

so she leaves talking for later

days like islands

Laura Cesarco Eglin is the author of three collections of poetry, Los brazos del saguaro (Yaugurú, 2015), Sastrería (Yaugurú, 2011), and Llamar al agua por su nombre (Mouthfeel Press, 2010). A selection of poems from Sastería was translated collaboratively into English with Teresa Williams, and subsequently published as the chapbook Tailor Shop: Threads (Finishing Line Press, 2013). Cesarco Eglin recently published the chapbook Occasions to Call Miracles Appropriate (Lunamopolis, The Lune series, 2015). Her poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in a variety of journals, including Modern Poetry in Translation, MiPOesias, Eleven Eleven, Puerto del Sol, Copper Nickel, Tupelo Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Timber, Blood Orange Review, Pretty Owl Poetry, Drunken Boat, Pilgrimage, Periódico de Poesía, Metrópolis, and more. Her poems are also featured in the Uruguayan women’s section of Palabras Errantes, Plusamérica: Latin American Literature in Translation. Cesarco Eglin's poetry appear in América invertida: An Anthology of Emerging Uruguayan Poets (University of New Mexico Press, 2016). Cesarco Eglin's work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the co-founder and publisher of Veliz Books.


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