Silence

Silence

a series of dotted lines
that never converge

an elliptical cadence
of a conversation dropped
due to a bad connection.

Speech impediments run in families.
We stutter our apologies
Always, we say, I’m sorry
but never really mean it.

Silence is the understudy for such platitudes.

The things we want to say
but can’t
means it’s all in our heads.

Second guessing ourselves
is an automatic safety feature for our mouths

no hazard shall arise from
having not said
what we can’t take back

means having too much to lose
and too much at stake

is the inability to speak on command
therefore
forever holding our peace
of mind
lost…

is the ability to sit on command
to bark only when called.
It means ‘good doggy.’

****

Silence does as it pleases.

It never checks in
and always assumes no
really means go.

It is the sound of
a dial tone
a slamming door
a key turning in the lock

It is
a shrug
walking away
waiting for others to step in

It is decidedly not my problem.

A grunt
a huff
an eye roll
an inaudible sound of an inward sigh

this too is silence.

****

Silence is the sound
of elevator music
on a crisis hotline….
I am left on hold
for so long
I hang up.

Silence swaggers in with a smile
after a long spell of sadness

giving away possessions
they are better off without
me
when I say goodbye without warning.

Silence is leaping into the sky
and never coming down

it is concealing a bad habit
and a deadly weapon.

****

Silence is the violence
dried in the creases of your knuckles
when you promise me
it won’t happen again.

It is that lull
between a clap of thunder
and the power going out

It is the dawn
creeping under our blinds
after a very long night.

The silence that follows
means I meant everything I said

with a seasick fluttering in my chest
fireworks going off in our heads
the gun going off in your dreams.

Silence is premeditated.

Me, saying I’m fine
even as I sob, and
you
responding with
that’s good
when you ask me how my day went
is silence

is radioactive waste
buried many miles
under the ground.

****

Silence is something we do
when we have no words to describe
why we do what we do.

It is a smokescreen
an elephant performing tricks
to make us laugh

the clown inside us all
who fills our heads
with caramel corn
and cotton candy
to hide our fears and
keep us distracted

It is the bystander inside us all
who wants no part of it

the gaslighter inside us all
who insists that the sun
is rising in the west.

Silence is a certain style of breathing

Sucking it up
and holding it in

never letting out or
letting it show

all alone
together

we subsist
on spoonfuls of air

even as we suffocate