his moments of clarity falter clumsily
off-balance a drunken bear stumbling
over uneven ground searching for love
so he whispers them only to himself
in case  he starts to believe as true
the smoky rumors he has conjured
out of the vague conversations
others lay before him to interpret
as if his secrets were gypsies spreading
out their tarot pack for divination
she waits silently on the edge of her bed
ankles crossed hands folded in her lap
for them to arrive with her new face
not that she is insecure or passive
just accepting of the lines others draw
upon her like smudged tattoos
but embedded in these tangled lines
with their barbed hooks and silent queries
the twisted knots of meaning slip tighter
around her tattered and bloody tongue
(April 2013)

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