Can we talk?

Can I talk to you?

Not here

Not now

So bright and so loud

So many things that call your attention

Not here, with my back to an open door

Vulnerable and exposed

Let’s go somewhere private

With dark

And silence

And time

Where I can close my eyes and breathe deep

And to your listening ears

Softly speak words of truth

Not these stammered, distracted half-truths

These words that detail but do not describe

That identify but do not name

I can feel the true words in my throat

Their power in my chest

But they would shrivel

Here

In this room.

 

Your patient expression

The way you wait for me to calm down

To move past my foolishness

Your sigh as I hesitate

The drift of your eyes while I gather myself

They push the true words down

Back into me

I can say something empty instead

Something that will please you

Keep you from looking

So patient

So bored

And inside I will feel the words of power dry out

And rot

Like a once-shiny apple you refused to eat.

 

Or we could go.

Let’s go somewhere.

Can we talk?

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