This is a rock shattering against
A child’s buildings. They crumble and,
Tired of guessing, she wanders
Alone at night, scared to find a home.
This was once a stone in my shoe.
Far from stopping to shake it out,
I borrowed someone else’s feet
To ease the pain of rock climbing.
You stand in front of crowded rooms,
Full of those longing to learn this
And that. But to my estranged ears,
This and That are four letter words.
In the back row, this tells me
With that snaky S wrapped around
Its tongue, that there’s no way
I’ll ever know what this is.
This tags along like
Parentheses that print
Quantized steps on the sundry
Surface of a blackboard.
This is a door that’s always locked.
Those with access to their keys slip
Through it into the secret room.
I was given this safety pin.
This stamps my loved ones with symbols
Forcing them to march out of their
Homes without a word,
By order of the new regime.
Those who spoke out still remember
This war. How silence, drawn at attention,
Won landscapes scared to give their name.
This is the struggle of silences.
What visions die this way? Empty
Shells of this fill the air as you
Point out how beautiful we are—
I run. Fields, high volts, tears forced in.
This leaves me craving
Objects. I loved
To lie out on their properties
Soaking up the sun.
I remember this place back when
I knew few words. I’d reach out to
Touch shapes, tracing their forms. I built
My surface structure out of them.
Like an orphan, I used to try
To describe this, but I had no
Language for my origins. Through
Songs sung silently, I am disowned.
This is the sound of an age
That’s dying. Generations speak
Of us in past tense. Why this?
I just wanted to make this mine.
This would be beautiful
If it ever gave birth
To a child. We’d be the only
Songs in chromatic harmony.