Softer Voices

It all comes down to the voice,
that one moment
when the tones come clear,
the names we go by
and silently keeping
all those secrets
that we only tell ourselves
in our dreams at night.

Towards the end, he began dreaming of self-evident things,

peeling himself clean,

away from the finely sculpted renditions of perfection.

He began chasing the thing he wanted most,

the filth,

the dirt that can only be known,


beneath his own broken fingernails

and the filtered opportunities

still caught up in the things

he still had left to do.

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She only calls me
when no one else is home.
Releasing a sigh
with a request for company,
as if I were the lucky one,
someone who must be
waiting by the phone
for the gifted privilege of her voice
saying the words
she thinks
I’ve been waiting
so long to hear.


My skin has always been
my weakest organ.
It splits at the first sign of trouble
and leaves only lighter shaded reminders
that at some point
something happened here.


There’s a man in my building
who’s cough
growls like an outdoor dog.
Nobody likes him
but everybody loves him
and at times like this
it feels like
we’re all just waiting for him to die,
but the neighbors only discuss it with looks
and head tilts
covering up the thoughts they have
in preparation
of what they’re actually
going to say.



I search for the trust I can get

before finding the trust I can give.

Always hearing secrets

with double meanings

and never taking note

of the confessions at my door.



I don’t know why I’m happier

away from home than in it,

because the troubles I have

are always following me around

and every

borderline shelter I can find

only protects me

until I realize

that my baggage

will always be rolling on tiny wheels

behind me as I walk.


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