Kate Bernadette Benedict


Listen to Audio Version read by Jill Khoury.

For years, it was just a hum,
faint thrum,
vague murmur behind the mandible.
Who ramped up the volume?
A snare drum’s jamming in my inner ear!

Silence: that’s my element—
hush of streets at 3:00 a.m.
or moment so like praying,
before applause, after the soloist stops playing,
when the stirred heart’s soft tremolo
is all there is to hear.

Now barnyard racket wrecks my peace
or highway diesels far-away yet near,
bedeviling, austere,
and ceaseless.
No surcease.


*"Tinnitus" was originally published in Abaton in 2010.


Kate Bernadette Benedict lives and writes in Riverdale, a leafy neighborhood in the Bronx, New York. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Here From Away and In Company, and the editor of the erstwhile online poetry journals Umbrella and Tilt-a-Whirl. Visit her on the web at http://www.katebenedict.com.