It Bruises, Too
The haunting has killed before.
Find words to describe the stone
heavy in the bowels. Before us
are the disasters we make
of our lives. I am a clumsy
journeyman. You find me on
a road that curls across green
plains. You see me with my staff
from so many miles away. We follow
the contours the mountains
make of the road until, hours
later, after two light showers
and a burst of sunlight we
meet. I tell you I am doing
penance. I promise that these
words I am speaking are the breaking
of a long fast, and my voice
sounds alien even to me.
You ask why I wince like that.
“The silence,” I say. “It bruises, as well.”
And after the elation of this meeting,
we part, you towards the light, me
into the gloom you left behind.
Copyright © 2022 by Kwame Dawes. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 28, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.