Can you read this? Most days, my words look more like tracks of a sandpiper skittering along the edge of the sea. But I see them clearly now—o blessed words! There’s so much I want to say before they leave me again and I must go back to that inarticulate cell, as memories play out like silent movies, and I must watch them speechless. Moving in and out on the stage, strange people arrive, imploring me to do things, uttering sounds and looking at me as if I’m supposed to understand them. They start off smiling, but then begin to frown. Their voices grow louder, and I can feel their frustration slowly rise in an angry wave. Why can’t you understand me? Don’t you remember? Sometimes they yell at me, and all I can do is babble. But I must hurry. The words are fleeting, and I must write while I can. So if you’re still here, please share this with that lady with the luminous face. She’s here every morning. When she smiles, she fills my every dark corner, and her words play softly on my soul. Sometimes she opens a book, and points to the tracks on the page as she speaks. And each night before I go to sleep, she sings to me a sad song that reminds of what I do not know. Please, tell her that I ….
First published in Tipton Poetry Journal Fall 2022 https://issuu.com/tiptonpoetryjournal/docs/tpj54