Issue > Poetry
Paul Hlava

Paul Hlava

Paul Hlava has been awarded a Poets House fellowship, Cave Canem workshop, and a spot in the Best New Poets anthology. His work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, BOMB and PEN American among other journals and newspapers and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

What I Heard Through The Wall

Clatter like seeds dropped by a storm.
Had there always been a door
between these two rooms?

When I closed my eyes, I heard
a trickle from the open tap.
A river flooded tables and chairs.

I whispered and it disappeared.
Then, rain.
Fish which leapt so high they sprouted wings.

The waves reflected stars
illuminating waves.
When I speak I erase

what's around me. When I listen
I leave space for not me
to grow. Gloria sunk a shovel

above the underground reservoir.
Water was in the wooden bucket,
wooden bucket in the well.

Sometimes I must make room to hear again.
Droplets form lush jungles.
I press my ear to that resonant hush.


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