Daily Archives: April 12, 2018

Filling In Blanks

To admit that in your head you are
filling in the blanks 
in horrifying sentences 
about who needs to go
and who can stay 

is to recognize
the whole foundation
of the dialogue has shifted
and you’ve moved along with it.

Even if it’s only at night
when no one’s there to hear you whisper
about how things 
would be better
if only, if only.

Even if right after that
you bury your face
in the smothering pillow
and hold your breath to your limit.

Even if you resist the urge to whisper it
again and again,
no matter how comfortable
you’re becoming with the repetition.

It becomes rote eventually. 
All of it —
the whisper, the shame, 
the disavowal,
the whisper again.

Your fellow travelers say “resist, resist,”
and you long to become a fast tsunami instead.
Your fellow travelers say “snowflake, snowflake,”
and you long to become a flamethrower instead.

Go ahead and whisper, weep, and pretend
you still believe in loving all. You know better.
You’re picking and choosing now
and in the sick broken dark

if you strain your ears,
you can tell you’re not alone.

One Worn Shoe

What I can offer of myself
for you to hold onto here:

a worn shoe,
a loose tongue. Mileage
and incessant talk about 
mileage. I show
every step, every stumble,
and I won’t shut up.

One broken shoe,
clearly a discard.
Not worth picking up
from the pavement,
really; stories
spilling out from that floppy
tongue, out of holes
and near holes.

By their nature shoes
are not about hope
once they’re broken in,
instead are about trudging
and when there’s only one
they’re barely noticed unless
one trips over them and then?
Gone, trashed, tossed —

one worn shoe of a man.
Dust in the folds. Dim shine,
politely called patina.
The sole a tattered page.
I’ve been places, though,

and could go farther
even though there’s no reason I should,
even though it looks impossible
that I could go anywhere ever again — still,

how soft I’ve become.
How uniquely gentle I could be
to your touch.