An Awkward Pause

It’s the open window between
walls of conversation,

when anything can happen
when lightning can strike

and burn houses to skeletons,
burst dams like toothpicks,

or puncture tires like gunshot
wounds where lust oozes out

bleeding green, seething as
mouths connecting in time to

flashing cameras and tongues
wag in line for trending stories.

And each chance, each breath
spent missing words, each

heartbeat closer to the flame,
further away from one another

is a draft fresh air coughing up
a lifetime of mildew from the

folds of an old comforter, a
reminder of how a sprawling tree

catches the breeze like a sail
and a gnarled iron fence snags

kites of language as the acrid tang
of an empty moment rusts inside

a lost look, like the space on a wall
where family portraits used to hang.

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