Filling In Blanks

To admit that in your head you are
filling in the blanks 
in horrifying sentences 
about who needs to go
and who can stay 

is to recognize
the whole foundation
of the dialogue has shifted
and you’ve moved along with it.

Even if it’s only at night
when no one’s there to hear you whisper
about how things 
would be better
if only, if only.

Even if right after that
you bury your face
in the smothering pillow
and hold your breath to your limit.

Even if you resist the urge to whisper it
again and again,
no matter how comfortable
you’re becoming with the repetition.

It becomes rote eventually. 
All of it —
the whisper, the shame, 
the disavowal,
the whisper again.

Your fellow travelers say “resist, resist,”
and you long to become a fast tsunami instead.
Your fellow travelers say “snowflake, snowflake,”
and you long to become a flamethrower instead.

Go ahead and whisper, weep, and pretend
you still believe in loving all. You know better.
You’re picking and choosing now
and in the sick broken dark

if you strain your ears,
you can tell you’re not alone.

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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