The Thing About My Ears Is

I am afraid

of noises miles away.

It’s like presence in a room

filled with




all active at once—

fifty people talk in chorus.

Simultaneous listen

makes my tasks impossible

and activation of the switch

switches on the panic trigger.

The whisper approaches

from the room downstairs





pseudo- sounds mask the

noticeable sound—phone

rings but just an air

conditioner. The worst sound

I hold is the continuous beeps

behind cacophony.


It’s just noise domination

with more noise elevation

embodied in the rebel

that lives deep in—

side my head.

I guess I can’t

be a firefighter



Aminah Abutayeb is a full-time MFA candidate at Fairleigh Dickinson University concentrating on poetry. She is an Assistant Editor at The Literary Review and currently works at the Writing Center in William Paterson University. Her poem is forthcoming in Common Ground Review. She lives in Northern New Jersey.