it arrives silently/ the lowest point of the body
i. it arrives silently
when it arrives, it arrives silently. there is no warning, no sign that I recall. if there is a noise, it’s the
sound of things shutting down. a wave of silence washing through the suburb. the bar on the battery
indicator diminishing. the power level slowly going down. at first, I think my charger is broken. go to
the kitchen to find a spare. passing the microwave, realise the clock is flashing: [00:00] [00:00] [00:00].
it’s then that I notice an absence of noise. the fridge has stopped humming.
I hear and feel nothing out of the ordinary. the microwave is out. I look out the window and into the
back yard. no lights from neighbouring houses. I go to the front door and onto the footpath.
streetlights are out. no sound except cars on the street nearby, and crickets chirping.
no sound except cars on the street, no sign the silence nearby, and crickets chirping
ii. the lowest point of the body
when it arrives, there is no colossal thunderclap. the sun does not darken, nor travel backwards through
the sky. the earth does not quake or split in two. there is no sign at all, or none that I recall. I heard and
felt nothing out of the ordinary. not in the night, nor in the early hours of the morning, not while
shopping at the mall, or staring at my computer. not even when the phone rang at 4pm did I detect
the slightest sign. my brother was found, maybe 24 hours after he died, lying in his bed. face down.
once the heart has stopped beating, blood begins to congeal at the lowest point of the body. we were
not permitted to see him, but my youngest brother who lived with him, but my youngest brother. who
lived. with him. was the one. who found him.
iii. when it arrives
when it arrives, at first I hear and feel no sign, no sound. no colossal thunderclap. no tidal wave. no sun
travelling backwards through the sky. the sun does nothing. the power level slowly going down. not in
the night, or the early hours of the body
the earth, found lying in his bed the one who found him, once the body that lived with him once the heart
once the heart has stopped beating, blood begins to congeal at the slightest sign
my brother was my brother, the bar on the heart, the sun, found, 24 hours after, not in the night, or the
early hours. lying in his bed. face down. streetlights out. the sky, darkening. the earth, diminishing.
broken. split in two. lying, face down, in a tidal wave of silence
the sound of things shutting down the only sound absence of noise, once the heart has stopped
when it arrives, there is no warning. there is no sign that I recall. I go to the front door and out of the
blood begins to look out/ no warning/ the fridge has stopped beating/ must be broken/ street lights
out/ blood begins to congeal/ at the lowest point/ we were not permitted/ once the heart has split in
two/ the sun darkens/ the earth quakes/ a colossal thunderclap/ blood diminishing/ washing through
the suburb/ the earth/ lying face down/ my brother/ travelling backwards through the sky/ a wave of
silence/ crickets chirping/ the sound of things shutting down/ no lights from neighbouring houses
the street nearby and split in two no sound except the slightest sign
I go to the footpath
Maria Griffin’s writing practice incorporates exhibition texts, reviews, essays and poetry. Her work has appeared most recently in Right Now, Southerly, Not Very Quiet, Talking Writing, L'Ephemere Review and Writing In the Expanded Field. She lives on unceded lands of the Kulin Nations, a.k.a. Melbourne, Australia.