Conversational Piece

You sit there across from me,
Your eyes speak hunger, loneliness, anger.
We pretend to talk about the weather
Or something equally inane and unchanging.
It’s been a good day, perhaps,
Or else it’s been a bad one.
They’ll all be mediocre in hindsight.
There’s chatter of lost lives, suspended,
Like wash on the line waiting to be remembered,
Brought in, put away neatly.
I wonder. Maybe you’ve never done your own laundry.
We sit around coffee tables,
Recanting stories to any willing ears,
And we take turns listening —
To ignore what we’re missing,
That which we see behind our eyelids
And all the vaporous smiles.
I nod, mutter something soothing.
It’s all complacency.
I know what you want because my eyes look like yours.
We’re filling silence with words forgotten
The moment they cross our lips,
So we don’t smother each other with these shared
Unspoken desires that threaten to suffocate us like shadows
Or murder us in our sleep for our negligence.
Perhaps we should stop talking.

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