The man was trying, but I couldn’t understand.
I shouted louder, but he stayed still.
I beat my fist on the wall, got very quiet.
The man was trying to tell me, but I couldn’t hear.
We lay down and I whispered,
repeated lines of questions softer now-
his eyes said fire
and then said water
and I said it was okay.
But home nights in my calculating cave
I prepared new techniques
to draw out the words
that he was trying to say,
that I already knew-
the words that I wanted were true,
the words that I feared were true,
but that until more clearly spit
I wouldn’t believe.
It wasn’t me who sewed his lips,
it wasn’t him who stuffed my ears,
but it was we who locked the door,
we who continue the war
and we who’ll die without ever
a single word.