What Theresa makes and does not make

Roy Herndon Smith

Downstairs Theresa
is vacuuming. I close the door
to mute the steady

not quite a roar, not
quite a whirr, not quite what I
can quiet with words.

The door suffices
for the moment ’til the
steady sound stops, and

scattered clatters and
the ticking of the clock and
the not quite a hum,

not quite a tinkling,
of maybe tintinitus
makes sense of stillness.

The vacuum starts up
continuous whatever
again, then it stops.

Theresa’s saying
something—I hear a “yes,” but,
unlike Horton, can’t

quite make anything
else out. I assume a who’s
out there listening,

someone who can
make some sense in words of what
she’s saying, but I

wonder, wandering
from sensing senseless moment
to sensing senseless

moment, if making
sense misses the always not
quite quiet, not quite

still, not quite sensed, not
quite something words can make of
Theresa and not

Theresa making
and unmaking the world beyond
the door I close and

open with words and
not words, the world I have no
wish to ever leave.