By Faith Gobeli

“I’m frustrated,” you said,
Trying to read me,
Toiling to unfold a map
That was too big to tell anything,
That was only a cacophony of directions,
Of arrows clanging like swords.

“It’s okay,” I answered.
“It’s just how it is.”
My voice fell into a tiny hole in the telephone
And crawled into your ear,
And into your tenderness.

“What we have,” you replied,
“I don’t want to lose what we have.”
You set the words before me like a road,
Like wildflowers,
Like open air,
Like the first step in a tentative sunrise.

But I’m not good at this.

“It’s life,” I said.
“Things change, we have to accept it.”
It’s a comment that clunks like a stone.
It’s a blindfold tied too tight,
A bewildering twirl
At the bottom of towering treetops.
It’s forgetting to ask why.

So you implore me:
“See what you’re doing right now?
You’re pushing me away.”
There is a pause, the tapping of my foot.
Then there is you,
And your feet moving,
Climbing to the top of my silence,
To where you can wave arms,
To where you can shout
and draw an X in the sand.

But I don’t tell you
That I don’t know how.
I don’t tell you
That not knowing hurts.

Instead, I let you drift with me
And hope the current will be kind
Enough
To carry us in the same direction.

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