A solitary rain drop—
pink!—on the windowpane
of a still lake. And then:

Then: shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
What seems like an absence

of sound is actually its
presence, a thousand soloists
singing the same song.

One birthday you gave me
a bone-colored mug
that fits neatly in my palm.

Every morning I fill it
with hot tea, lift the rim
to my lips. Day after day

after week after month.
After decades, we're still
learning the difference

between noise and sound.
Imperative. Noun.