Before she connected the headphones 
to the tree she said

I’ve been told that ice cracking 
sounds like a child screaming

I knew she meant this literally 
and as I listened to the tree  

I heard a pulse, or that is
the sound of a heart beating in drips

In that moment, everything concertinaed 
although maybe what I mean is the opposite 

Besides somebody else was already 
slamming it all shut, saying

The only thing we humans ever hear
is the magnification of our own sound