Quiet Moon

This one’s a bit more awkward than my other poems, but to be fair that’s kind of the point:

I’m a bit
nervous.
Palms slick, eyes squint,
the devil drawing stammers from my tongue.
A bit
awkward.
I know my limbs jut out at uncomfortable angles and my knees don’t always face forward,
but it’s the silence that always gets me.
That hollow soundless echo reaching under my scalp,
tearing hair clumps and confidence simultaneously.
I’m not great with people.
When they laugh, I panic.
When they cry, I offer tea like my mother taught me.
But it’s always the silence that gets me most.
The Unspoken wraiths
digging into my skin,
when all I wanna do is say
“Hello,
you have a face like sunshine
and I’m pretty sure you’re God given
cause your voice
is a fucking miracle.”
All I want to do is
talk to you,
but it never leaves my mouth right,
comes out all slur and sweat and
Stop.

Shannon, you’ll only embarrass yourself again.
These people don’t care what you have to say.
Might as well call it a day,
cause all your ideas are half formed,
all your ideals half compromised,
and they can tell it’s all a lie,
that you’re just winging it
at this point.

Rationally,
you compose lines to convince yourself otherwise,
sit pretty while other people
do the talking.
The world has convinced you
that to be woman is to be silent,
that to be queer is to be silent,
and even among your peers you struggle not to hold your tongue.

You were a quiet child.
Mild mannered and gentle.
Afraid to use your own voice.
It’s dangerous lilt crept quietly
into the night’s calm echo,
only ever heard by the shadows, so.

Speak now.
Let your tongue be a weapon, your words incite revolution.
Redraft your constitution with bare hands,
and if you can,
face silence with unwavering grace.

You do not need
to defend your place in this world,
so take a breath.
Fill your lungs with coal, let your body
be a steam engine and
take you home.

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