‘I Am Afraid/I Am a Fraud’

If a mouth’s unopened, like a closed mind
uncertain of its mother’s tongue, her speech,
it won’t touch another, and won’t survive.

Ashen words—muddied fall-out spit inside
cigarette-lit tombs—have removed their reach
if a mouth’s unopened. Like a closed mind,

buried thoughts can still be living things time
neglects; a window of eternity
lips won’t touch: another end some survive—

what life silenced ideas might have inspired!
Sepulchral kisses kill off liberty
if a mouth’s unopened. Like a closed mind,

expressionless whispers cannot unbind
what won’t budge; just speak, or truth as we see
it won’t touch another, and won’t survive

all of the crowd’s loud efforts to define
us; or worse, deep sixing our Selves freely.
If a mouth’s unopened, like a closed mind
it won’t touch another, and won’t survive.