Sitting in the isolation booth,

listening for the fading bell.

The headphones, leather-bound and lush,

are pillowy around my ears,

a vacuum of sound.

When I first signed up,

I thought it would be easy money.

But within the experiment,

there is always a double game.


Amidst a distant humming,

my eardrums gradually disconnect,

and another timbre insinuates itself.

Exclusivity is now unblurred into its primary coloring.

Causal potency, insistent and self-confident,

reaches across the small revolutions

of electrons and protons,

and the power embedded within the orbits becomes tactile.

If you calculate the empty space between the points of energy,

the sum will strain comprehension.

Layer on the emergent potential

and it will fold upon itself, numberless.


They want you to tell them what they already know,

but, there’s something else answered

in the darkening absence of sound.

As the soul machine re-dons

its practiced gait, momentum and mass

disguise the slightest remnant of a limp.

Metal shavings vibrate softly,

re-orienting to magnetic poles

with their interpretations.


Chris Innes

Chris Innes is a writer living in Washington, D.C. and has had poetry published in a variety of literary magazines, including The Wisconsin Review, The Cape Rock, Prairie Winds, Common Ground Review, The Pikeville Review, Descant, and The Mankato Poetry Review.

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