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2:45 DismissalTo Emma Alvarez Gibson's previous piece     SubtextTo Emma's next piece

The Early Show

I know why you were there
your blue shirt
and awkward graying hair
said almost as much 
as the wall of silence 
you wore, and 
the waves of fear
that rippled out
away from you,
stony, careful.

I could hear you
preparing your reasons 
for the leaders 
of an inquisition 
that would not come.

Leaning away  
from my friends
I watched it unravel
my purple scarf
winding around 
my neck,
wrapping around 
my hands,

Slumped down, 
I wept as 
each page turned,
snapshots: the phone call,
the confusion, the deliberate
look, the clumsy 
weakness, the need
a gaping hole.

water bottle squeaked.
I turned and
cowered: thirsty strangers
were drinking me in, 
ants wading through
discarded meat.

When it was over
you stood
on the steps,
staring at the picture
a look like no oxygen,
that shame.

You struggled against
the tremendous gust 
of nothing
that forced its way back 
inside of you, as it had
not done with me.
I wanted to tell you I knew:
to scare you, or maybe
to comfort you.
I wanted to ask you
if hes sorry.

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