"Dialogue" monotype
by Ryan Drake, 2002

There is a tearing sound, as of something being ripped or sundered.  She has begun to speak.

He attempts to listen, as if standing on an island of a busy and multi-laned thoroughfare.  She speaks fervently, softly.

There’s the tearing.  Something rent.

He is unable to hear.  Only reverberations, a type of thrum from heavy traffic.

They are alone in an emptying room.

It is silent, but for the ripping, which also is not.


All of her aimed in his direction, what he has trouble seeing.

He attempts to look, as if through the fumes and smoke of a multi-floored building burning to collapse on the ground.

Her mouth moves gently and fierce.

He is unable to see what she says through the sound of the tearing, his searing eyes.

There are echoes, which also are not.


From a distance, things are still, as if a hobbyist set them in place.

She cries in her trying, directed at him and speaking, nearly a whisper, a message so loud.

The thrum and the shredding, the smoke.

Shifting, sifting to gather himself, redirect, organize, to attend.  He tenses himself, tightens and coils, as if a reception machine.  He is trying, crying, in a land far away.

Alone, they, the emptying room.


She’s given up, folded over, like craft paper wadded to a discarding ball.

A rivening come to its end.

He’s a radar, an instrument, powered and ready.

She falls explosively silent, unmoved.

He sees her, feels her absence arriving, he strains and he beggars the air.

Diminished and shrinking, she retracts to an inscrutable quark.

And he, aware, and alertly entire, listens and looks.