Frequency

Adrienne Aggen

As men grow older they lose their ability to hear high-pitched sounds.
Perhaps this is why they prefer the steady company of dogs—those
who will hear these for them. Women aren’t much better off. As they age,
bass tones become inaudible. Nature will keep the peace.

put your
fingers over
your earbuds
and slowly
press them
back and forth
to hear the
change in pitch
and you
will understand
why you
will never
satisfy a woman.

the change is subtle and happens faster than the second;
you will notice the tonal shift only as white noise below
your conversation.

understand, this is how she hears things all of the time.

you both listen to beethoven’s 7th in your car with the windows rolled
up and rain marathoning down.
neither of you looks at the other. it’s as if some game show host
has promised you fifty dollars each if you can burn holes through
the windshield with your eyes.

she sneezes and you hear the crescendo,
you blink and she hears the pause.

dumb, you sit in stupid silence
wishing you knew falsetto.