We shouldn’t talk,
for honesty may kill us.
For the night might eat away it’s armor
and leaved us naked and exposed.
And each word would trace
the line of eye
from your bare breast to
my desire –
and what would we say to each other
past that first unspoken kiss?
“How are the kids? How is school? Are you seeing anyone special right now?
Does he still stir you from sleep with soft caress? Will you vacation on the Cape
or at the Island, come this August?”
We shouldn’t talk
for our words have weighted meanings.
Each platitude picks a thread loose
from your blouse.
Each tiny jest,
a fingernail raked with a cry
across my shoulder.
We should only nod acknowledgement
in daylight’s sober hours
And never speak a word made
wiser by the wine.
“How hard are you working? Are you eating, are you sleeping Are you lonely? Did you cry when it got too hard? What are you reading? are you aching, are you numb? How’s that new project you were hoping for coming along?”
I know what I want but I will never say it
for I am more afraid that you, in hope,
will answer “yes”
than I am of you, in terror,
You don’t know what you want
but you grasp at it in darkness
across time and the jumbled
hope that lies in words
that drift and, starless, die.