"Just Because I'm Deaf..." by Mark Anthony Vigo



Mark Anthony Vigo was born and raised between Williamsburg Brooklyn and the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He came of age during the birth of Hip-Hop, his writing and performance style both distinctively reflect this. He has performed at various venues throughout NYC including The Nuyorican Poet’s Café, The National Black Theater of Harlem, and The New York Poetry Festival. He is currently a member of The Titere Poets, a collective of writers of various genres who have come together to speak on what it means to be Latinx, in today’s society. In the past he has also been a member of La Sopa, The Sunday Writing Circle, Canvas of Words, and The Full Circle Ensemble. He is also an alum of VONA, Class of Poetry 2016, where he had the opportunity to workshop with Willie Perdomo. Currently he possesses three manuscripts of poetry that he hopes to one day get published.

You can follow him on:

Facebook: Mark Anthony Vigo

Instagram: @vigohard_bk, and

Twitter: @VigoHardBK

Ears, such as yours,

they don’t hear everything.

That is because over the years,

they have been trained

to respond only to those sounds

in the world of the physical.

Whereas mine;

having been finely-tuned, exclusively,

to the frequency of the silent

and the spiritual, 

are capable of hearing much, much, more,

than you, could ever imagine.


By simply,



I listen to all those things

that you, and no one else possibly can.

Like the bellowing bass,

of those pain-filled chords,

plucked across the heartstrings

of a tortured soul.


The deep, deep, melancholy harmonies

of hidden emotions, trying to be forgotten

like notes being played,

in a key, so low.

Going undetected,

by "normal" ears.

But not mine.







I can hear

the faintest palpitations;

the softest flutters

of a person's heart,

getting louder, and louder,

as they approach me.


And when they draw near.

I listen carefully to the rhythm

found between the heart, and the beats,

gauging their truest intentions,

with such pin-point precision.

Ya see…


I, can hear tears,

              in their silence;


Oceans deep with anger;

tsunamis of pain forming

upon the horizon,

ready to unleash waves, upon waves,

of unstoppable heartache.


Just as I can hear those tears,

                              in their silence;



Rushing, rapids, rising.

Wide rivers, brimming.

So swollen with joy & laughter,

their levees,

can no longer hold them back.


And unlike others,

I hear those things in the deepest quiet,

where there is no louder sound,

than that, of the unheard.


I can hear those words,

that are left unsaid.

Hanging in the air,

like turbulent storm clouds rolling;

thunderous, in their silence.


To this day, I am still utterly amazed,

at how keenly I pick up,

on what others, routinely miss.


These ears; they can hear pain,

even when shrouded

in strong, soft, words of reassurance,

camouflaged in honey-coated sweetness.

Pain, nonetheless,

which would otherwise go, unnoticed.


These ears; they can also hear love.

Even when hidden behind the harsh,

stringent words of a fearful anger,

that just doesn’t know any better.

But it’s a love, nonetheless;

that would otherwise go,



But no more.

This is why I now sense plainly,

the deceit in someone else's words,

even when cleverly disguised

behind a mask of false empathy.


For I have learned to listen for things,

that cannot be heard, by ears such as yours.

In those spaces which lie in between the words.

The deep, dark, crags and crevices;

where true emotions remain ensconced.

Hidden from public view, just waiting,

for that one weak moment,

to corner you, by yourself.


I have also learned to listen

for those gaps of time;

wedged, in between the heartbeats.

They too, tell a story,

with a uniquely syncopated rhythm

all their own.


And by deciphering those beats,

I can determine the delicate state of a person's heart.

Letting me know whether it's at peace, or at war.

Whether it's wracked with internal conflict,

or filled to bursting, with the sounds of light & hope.


These ears of mine,

they have served me well,

though some may beg to differ.

Some still view me as “handicapped”,

whereas I am feeling less and less so, as the days go by.


What I am feeling though,

is enlightened.


You see,

if it weren’t for my deafness,

I would have never achieved

the level of tranquility,

that I have come to experience.


Allowing myself to finally embrace that silence;

relinquishing my fear of it, completely;

has proven to be, one hell, of an epiphany.


Just because I'm deaf,

doesn't mean

I can't hear.



The Acentos Review 2019