tell the tale behind each hollow

together-we-walk-apart

together we walk, apart

TABOO
Nina Suba

In this game, there are words I cannot say.

Like if I mean Bill Clinton, I can’t say President or United States.
Or if snowball, I can’t say winter or fight
Or any other word at the top of my mind–

Unless you say it first.

I must hold the tip of my tongue
And find a way around words,
Tell you about pain, for instance,

By recounting the sadness of stars on moonless nights
When nothing seemed to move, not even time,

Or I could say, empty chairs, unread letters, and
presents that remain unopened in one’s hands.

I could tell you, It’s when you shut your eyes because it’s the only thing
that you can do, the only thing that you have strength for, and then you dream
of mangled bodies falling from the sky and crashing into you.

If I mean pain, I could also take your hand,
Press your fingers into all the holes you made,
Say, This or Here, then tell the tale behind each hollow,
When all I really need to say is your name.

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