18 January 2012

The Violence of Silence

When you get the silent treatment, the first thing
that happens is the walls begin whispering
about how you fucked up. You catch
only pieces of criticism: "shit...shouldn't have...she hates you now...distrust..."
The drapes, moved by the wind from the open window,
goad you to keep talking, keep trying
to talk yourself out of it, to talk yourself into her world.

But the walls urge you: "Shh...shut up...say nothing."

And that's when the blade enters your gut.

The poet silenced,
the lover rebuffed,
the dream goes dark and evil.

Not saying what is in your heart,
regardless of how fractured and frightened and lonely it is,
the violent crime of tying your tongue down,
keeping your lips tightly shut, your teeth gritted
not out of anger, but out of restraint.

Restraint is a traumatic experience. If you don't believe this, ask a mental patient.

Hands too many to count lock your arms from moving, they sit on your legs,
they crush your chest ever so slightly so you can barely breathe
and you feel like any moment is your last, like safety is a fictional place,
a heaven you only get to when you die,
like they want to control your emotions by controlling your body.

But our body is here to express our emotions. And silence
is the restraint of the most articulate body part we have.

Your silence is the most violent act I know. I'd rather you
dismember me bone by bone until all that remains is

blood shouting back at the walls, "This man was here."

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