It takes time to learn this silence,
a silence so full that it bleeds
between the gaps of her ramshackle,
bow-legged speech. She possesses
no answers. She offers only
what she can hold in her young hands,
only what her limited mind can yearn after.
She quavers in this house. This house
with its private humiliations, its stilted rooms,
its wide, lonely timbers. Everything breaks—
the emaciated teacups, the brittle fabrics.
Why marvel at fragility? Why celebrate
only that which is short-lived?
She forgets the exquisite sweetness of the wind,
the dark trills and lulling whispers that breathe
secrets through the loving arms of trees. She forgets
the hushed joy of namelessness and of indecision,
the slowly-savored luxury of ignorance.
The sun slowly loses itself behind petty doors and walls.
And when the silence breaks over her—
when it cools into thick ropes of amber
around her long fingers, her lovely neck—
she cannot be. These moments distill her
in immobility. They suspend her in the long unbeing
of this house.
It is only then
that the heat of his breath drifting
down her back and the dull pounding
of his hands on her wasted legs
remind her that she lives.