in my family
it’s easiest to avoid stumbling
over any of an ever-growing list of things
it’s not OK to say,
by saying nothing at all
when I cannot think of anything appropriate
on the ever-shortening list of things still OK to talk about.
This mutual solitary confinement does little good.
Somehow we can still hear each other thinking.
Although I would rest easier
if I had learned to think nothing at all,
this feels deeper than mere rest,
further than I am prepared to nest
without this family,
where love is hard and sparse
between continents of despair and angry fear
of silence spreading from words
to feelings fading
to self absent
of other silent echoes.