Your Silent Partner

1 November 2012

I pride myself on making no sound
as I come down the stairs.
I imagine myself the first moments
of a kettle boiling,
or flakes of snow falling,
or even a ballerina,
all of me concentrated in one toe,
so small, so narrow,
the wood doesn’t feel a thing.

I am moving down this flight
like a wing arced toward the sun,
a feather fluttering.
I’m the paleness of my skin,
the combined weight of my shadow
and the years after I’m gone.
For all the sincerity of your kitchen radar,
you will not know it’s me.
To you, it’s no one.
To me, it’s how I rise.
Like a thermal. Like a ghost.

The first you’ll know of content
is my kiss upon your cheek.
There’ll be someone there,
compensating for your solitude.
Until then, there’ll be you
wiping tears from eyes
and me, the silent messenger,
with these instructions for your flesh.
Until then, you’ll be alone
with your thoughts.
But then I arrive,
and your thoughts
have something to think about.

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