The poet bade me
to keep still and silent
as he counted to 12.
So I obliged him. I
my mouth and I
my being.

In the stillness
in the silence
I was overcome by the shadow
of death.
It was everywhere.
I thought I might drown in it.
Instead I wept
for all those who were drowning.
I wept for those
who could not breathe.
I wept for them.
I wept with them.
I loved them.
And the darkness seemed less
less palpable.
It became fleeting.

But I seemed alone in this.

All around me people were
Silent but they took their
Smart phones
Also on silent
And took pictures of people
Who were silently
Taking pictures of people
Silently taking pictures of people.