Words

by Renwick Berchild

Deeply is the word he professes
in lipless verses, bent eyes and a high collared coat.
The heart is never worn on a sleeve but often
breaks over a lover’s face like moonlight.
We are unconstant, unstable, unmanageable
under the Terms and Conditions of Modern Love.
We check no boxes, gather no bouquets,
make no stringent declarations or mad attempts
to leap or lay. Silence is not a word to utter,
unless it is the utterance of a wind or a lap of water –
how come, how come we linger here as moss
winding its thin arms about the stone.
You remind me your mother is a lonely ewe,
I am reminded I was my father’s only son.
We arrange the hair on our cheeks, slip
fingers into the windows of our homes, slip into our
shoes, we are woken by the cars, humming
school children dashing by, youth as distant
as the solemnity of cliffsides in the dark.

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