I am a silenced
I cannot sing
I cannot sing
I cannot say
what I need to say
I cannot say
what is true
I cannot say
what I feel
my throat swells
up, grows red
my body begins
to break apart
like continents with no need
for dialogue,
a hand here
an arm,
a calf
an ankle
the instep
of my left foot.
My right side
so I cannot sleep on it,
nor on my left
worn out from years
of over use.
If I spoke no one
would listen,
I quit speaking
not on purpose
but the way appetite
knowing there will
be no food.
I cannot speak
I cannot say
what I need to say
I need to leave
my life
walk out of it
like leaving a room,
down a two-lane
with a dark yellow
walk the way Sojourner
or Peace Pilgrim did
women who walked
the truth,
without a change of
stopping by a stream
to wash things
out, women who wailed
into the night
when language failed
and made a deal
with God
when they could not
deal with the life
they had.

I need to do
like that
walk out
with just some clothes
my work,
the few Haviland
plates I just
their pink roses
an antidote
to the world
I’m in.

I think I need
they give me hope,
at least remind
me of what
I need.

I need to speak,
to have someone
listen without
having to raise
my voice.