That’s how this machine works

There’s how I don’t answer the phone, and how I sometimes like to lie down on the floor in the kitchen and pretend I’m not home when people knock. There’s daytime silent when I stare, and a nighttime silent when I do things. There’s shower silent and bath silent and […] car silent and then there’s the silence that comes back, a million times bigger than me, sneaks into my bones and wails and wails and wails until I can’t be quiet anymore. That’s how this machine works.

Ada Limón, excerpt from “The Quiet Machine”, in Bright Dead Things: Poems 

Notes: Portrait by Lucas Marquardt @ About Ada. Passage via antigonick


  1. It’s possible to connect to the silence in every part of our lives. I love that she lies down in the kitchen floor ha! 👏

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Silence is a treasure

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Have always marveled at the many distinct forms of silence. The silence of a welcome retreat…a quiet,cool room best suited for a Sunday afternoon nap….versus the silence of one’s home after beloved family and friends have departed. So very different….

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Love Ada Limon – got to participate in a reading she did with WritingxWriters interviewed by Pam Houston … She is a treasure ……

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There are so many levels of silence. Some comforting, some not so much. Love this.
    Can’t say I’ve ever tried to hide from whomever at the door, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I also have a ‘aquiet machine’ … I can see myself doing the same!! … “That’s how this machine works.” — Ada Limón, excerpt from “The Quiet Machine”, in Bright Dead Things: Poems.


  8. It’s rarely silent anywhere on my parts of the earth, but I always prefer quiet; the opposite somehow seems a wound.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What Lori and Dale expressed about the types of silence…I agree with their POV’s…///
    Growth within Silence is a gift…

    Liked by 1 person

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