by krstaten

There isn’t enough silence
in sign language
nor enough sound in my lungs
for this once-new place.

I’ve been here before.
The first time I was surprised
when I couldn’t feel my tongue;
my hands fumbled in awkward gestures.

I remember a box full of mirrors
cradling a man I had only met
once. His face evaded every glass pane.
My face filled them instead.
He was in the same suit he wore
on his wedding day, when I watched
him dance with a woman
who had chosen not to wear white,
who didn’t know she was pregnant yet,
who didn’t know she was widowed yet.

It’s unexpected like that.
Sometimes at 3am
a Facebook status tells you
someone’s gone
and suddenly your voice
is gone with them. You say,

“I’m sorry.”
You say, “He was a good
man.” You say nothing.

In this place now
age makes me a frequent guest.
I know better than to try to talk.

Sometimes at 3pm
a voice you know tells you
someone’s going
and you try to tell your voice
to stay. You still say
nothing. You think,
it was easier when
you didn’t know.
You see mirrors everywhere.
You try to stop looking
in any of them.

*Working title, subject to change.