I Dare Not Speak

I dare not speak
of how snow has not covered us
yet this year. I am trying hard 
to set myself apart

from my usual despair at white,
all white upon everything.
I dare not speak of how
night will soon come

to us, nor will I dare to assume
that it was designed only to conceal
what we love, or how shadowed 
this town will soon become.

I dare not slander. I dare not
praise. I dare not utter any word.
I’ve laden so much upon my words. 
They are beginning to break

as I am, as we are all beginning
to break. The sound of words breaking
in every stressed breath. 
Each word pulled between lie and truth.

Each season, each time of day
open for interpretation. White purity
or poison, dark evil or joy, 
light full of stab and soothe,

dark brimful of peace and strife.
That anyone bothers
to communicate beyond
touch and intimate connection

leaves me breathless. Words
are failing us, falling from our lips
with nothing inside them. To survive
we will have to do more than talk

and when we do speak we
will have to look each other
in the eyes and admit so much
of what we’ve let words cover:

our fears, or assumptions,
all the things we dared to do
from behind them. We will have to act
as if no words existed before this

if we are to remake this silenced world,
and I will be confident with neither praise
nor slander for anything that happens
until that great work is well begun.

Let it snow. Let it be an all white world.
When night comes,
let all the white world
fall into in that gentle dark.

I will build either way,
pushing new words,
like bricks,
into place.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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