Words were once on my side;
they filled my cheeks nice and full,
slid down my tongue like a water slide
and knew precisely when to emerge.
They've long since retired. Now, they
are keen for a game of hide-and-seek;
they think it comical to watch my search
seem endless and pedestrian. They snicker
at me. I call out their names,
but they only roll over,
like an old dog too tired for all the world.
Sometimes I think they're behind a locked door
and sporadically slide it open an inch.
I try to claw myself in, stuff in the cracks,
but they shut it on me after a glimpse.
Or maybe it's I who holds the handle
and can only open it after midnight
or when in the shower.
This would mean little, except the potential
that perhaps my words
remain loyal after all.
I know my thoughts swarm like flies to a carcass,
and I know that I said I wish I could have been there,
but I don't know the percentage that actually meant it.
Honestly, I've no idea how to console someone
when an inseparable bond becomes separated.
Me, the assuager, the one with the words,
deep down still dreams of the cool floor tile
pressed against my cheek. Down to the level
of my disintegrating friend, but when
they took her to the back to put her to sleep,
I could not watch the light leave her eyes
and instead wept in the waiting room.
I had a shoulder then, but it was not my own,
and I doubt I could ever take on that chore.
Occasionally I feel like I'm leaning flat against
a wall built of mercy, or compassion at most,
and it is the only thing in the world keeping me vertical.
Sometimes, I'm afraid of these thoughts I have
and the kind of person that they derive from.