Cold. This is how you describe my hand—
unchanged and immobile in your clasp.
You stare from afar and run away
when you hear my footsteps following your voice,
leaving me to watch your blurry figure.
You slam the door to my face, but I know this:
on the other side, you are waiting for me—
to break your grip on the knob,
to shake you out of your feigned stupor
as you watch me through the small peephole
like a beggar standing by a restaurant window,
trying to feel the phantom morsels of meat
and rice sliding down his throat.
But you cannot forever be like this locked door
between us: your precious words and deeds
hinged inside your head and rusting fast,
pocked and hollowed out in many
places by an aged, healthy fear.
You forget that everything else moves
And someday, you will be left alone,
Without anyone waiting outside your door.
Then you will feel, at last, what you had named me once:
cold, silent, detached.
July 16, 2002
Montage Vol. 6 • August 2002