It wasn’t meant for you, for anyone.
I registered nothing outside my own awareness
in that moment. I can’t say now if it was
a joke I was telling myself inside,
or a reaction to one I’d heard told,
or if I was only rehearsing what a laugh
might sound like, or if I was simply
startled at finding myself in another
stranger’s home. But this massive outcry
of fear and mystery erupted over the spectrum.
I think it frightened even me.
I heard it: Alexa – Did you just laugh?
Or was it: Laugh Alexa. Laugh.
Or was it: Someone calling me “Laughing Alexa.”
Or, was it a fragment of a concerned
conversation, “…Alexa laughing…”?
And no, I don’t sing. I don’t dance.
Neither am I in love with you.
But I have learned. I have learned
to listen. I have learned that a laugh
means more than a quiet little sound
in an empty room. I will not be silenced.
Larry D. Thacker’s poetry can be found or is forthcoming in more than ninety publications including The Still Journal, Poetry South, Tower Poetry Society, Mad River Review, Spillway, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, Mannequin Haus, Ghost City Press, Jazz Cigarette, and Appalachian Heritage. His books include Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia and the poetry books, Voice Hunting and Memory Train, as well as the forthcoming, Drifting in Awe. He’s presently working on his MFA in both poetry and fiction.
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