One word and there is a freezing heaviness,
Like sawtoothed icy rocks tucked viciously into pockets in my skin.
Stitched over abruptly with wire,
And covered in ash so that the scars will not fade.
I may tattoo over these unquiet marks
And make them mine to show;
Lines and swirls and cartoon characters that disguise me
By decorating the places where I am different.
One word and now, I am different.
I cannot seem to tread the measure
In time to your universal step.
I flinch to the music to which you all dance.
This tune in my ears is off-key.
One word and the weight of my bones is crushing me.
It seems to me that there are no quiet places left in the world.
I walk through graveyards to hear the whispers
Of the ten thousand lives I forgot that I was never a part of.
Ten thousand lives unsung.
I do not wish to mark ten thousand and one.
One word and all your goodbyes don’t fit inside my heart.
Not with this guilt saturating my skin.
Words that should not have been -
Were better buried beneath a crossroads than given voice.
I would wash my hands of those conversations
But for the stains upon my tongue.
One word and I have so little time to make this right.
Where do I begin?
... with one word?
© mjc 16 May 2015