Those silences.
Those cracks in the even flow of conversation.
They split paragraphs, then sentences,
Finally opening up between the words themselves.
At first we step all over them,
Trying to hide the gaps,
To hide our discomfort.
The only thing that fits in them
Is embarrassment.
We fear their growth.

But later...
Later we become comfortable,
Not embarrassed.
We stealthily, and little by little,
Allow the cracks to widen,
To deepen.
Our conversation becomes a means
To accentuate them.

They are larger,
Bigger then the words, the sentences,
The paragraphs.
We become fascinated
As they grow,
Transfixed by their emptiness.
They begin to echo.
The widening gulf becomes
The thing we have in common,
The glue
Holding us together.

They have become one great chasm
Bounded by mutters, and whispers,
And underbreath speaking.
Eventually, there is only the
Long silence,
Only the great yawn,
Gaping, unspanable, breathlessly open
Beneath us.

Through the rest of our lives
We are falling,
Falling in silence,
Like a lost echo gone unheard.
And yet,
We walk around as if nothing
Had happened,
While, unspeakably, nothing did.
Nothing happened.

by D A Phinney

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