Speaking Past the Tongue

by Justin Goldberg

selected by Henri Cole

From Beginnings, ab Intra

I

I search the dark places
of dreams
to know you better,
mother.

It's far too late
to ask you what they mean,

but I touch
your bedroom door
lightly,

listen for footsteps
on the hardwood floor.

The house is silent
you lie fast asleep.
Lift your head now
from the crater in the pillow
where it rests, rise and hear
what I've uncovered.

When we wake,
we will face each other
like strangers
hold our tongues
beneath the table.

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