Talking About Nothing

Talking About Nothing

Seven years and tonight she calls
Claiming to ask about writing grants
Briefly mentioning mother, father
The newly passed named only in passing

Her real subject’s not loss but
Loneliness – that secret formula for scary isolation
Could we who were once jaggedly connected
Patch up again?

What is not spoken may still sound loud
I dream I see words curl off her forehead:
Exhausted, older, my people dying
I’m scared witless, aren’t you too?
Once, rather strangely, I loved you

History sits next to me, naked and alone
Daring me to detonate
But anger ages out
The fuse in my chest cracks and sputters

The body gets it before the brain
We begin and end talking of nothing
Saying all we want to say