It began with a word so small
and unspoken that it waited
in a bitter slick at the back of
your tongue, held in check,
afraid to trespass the air.
The rest of the words trickled
down the back of your throat,
left dangling with other threads
of hard yearning and cold
disappointment. Even a whisper is
too much. So little air can pass that
a sigh turns to a gasp, a strangle
self-inflicted but denied until it
bloats the body, stifling light and
intention. So bound by muzzles of
our own making, blue tints our lips
and the water in our eyes floods over
parched skin covering dehydrated
bones. We are just feigning life, fearful
of judgment, our hands to our throats.
A feast of tears and angst is a hollow
meal. Let your ragged gasp bray out,
hack and spit those stale words to the
earth to be cleaned. Suffering is not
a sacrament to be lifted up for worship.
Raise your eyes instead to the blunt beauty
of clouds galloping shadows over the
mesa, warming crevices with yellow light.