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Coupled

At home, they sit across from each other

like a pair of stone-silent gargoyles, when

he sighs to himself as if with remorse.

Looking up, she asks, out of politeness,

“Is something wrong?”  He shakes his head, and says, 

embarrassed that he had spoken out loud,

“Oh, Nothing, just thinking, at least nothing

important enough to say:  just thinking.” 

They watch each other with a quiet calm 

like the still center of a raging storm; 

each happy enough at home not to stir 

up any conversations to avoid. 

Slowly, they fall into their silences,  

starkly alone with their thoughts together. 

(April 18, 2019)

Quiet Desperation

Katmai-National-Park__508x400

 

I’ve never been free:

approbation and fear

a constant tap-tap

at my shoulder,

as a reminder— “No,

do not go there.

Stay inside this truth.

It’s comfortable here.”

 

Justly, it is never

too warm to sweat,

nor cold enough to shiver.

There are no bears here,

lost in their quandaries

as to my medial decisions.

 

(September 3, 2018)

 

Empty Bowl

Empty Bowls Graphic

 

In almost a religious ritual,

he castigates his niggling doubts

in a timid formality of failure.

Even now, as he folds his thoughts

neatly into another inaction,

a new desire falls softly to regret

like crumbs from a banquet table

scatter slowly across the floor.

 

Doubt and regret feed each other

a fetid feast lavished with fear.

He imagines a different world

free from this hunger, where he moves

forthrightly without pity, instead

of staring blankly at an empty bowl.

 

(March 14, 2018)