Empty Room

Paul gave a speech.
He started, This is about
the violence done to little boys.

It is about that strange
backhanded love
that blights
the household landscape
and lowers the thermostat
without touch.

He talked about waking up
in places other than
where he fell down
and how his limbs felt
inadequate.

Paul blurred his metaphors
and the images
from the old cellar
where his mouth first filled
with self-loathing.

He spoke, I have not survived
as each day I wait
for a sense of ending.

And as beneficial
as your listening is to me,
it is not an ending
or a beginning to an end
or anything other than
the completion of a connection
through storytelling.

But not if you run away.
Emotionally I mean.
In the manner of
That is his problem.
I am speaking about
how do I inhabit
my own body?
Or endure the press
of a woman’s body
against mine?


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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