Watching My Mouth

At times, it’s as if I am

entirely made of words. Words

I do not say, not even whisper,

but which sit against my skin or

cling tightly to my lips.

Pulling, pulling, pulling them open

To try to climb in and take hold of my voice.

I feel them, like a bone-freezing wind,

wrapping around my spine;

leaving little bruises,

Leaving me longing to dive

into a cold, black silence.

Where I know not,

and am unknown

to the dangers of my speech.

Nesha Usmani

3 thoughts on “Watching My Mouth

  1. Very nice. Yes, I’ve clocked it: we must watch our words carefully. They have a way of winding us up, when we use them whimsically on others, heedless of the warnings, alarm-in our minds, as they wring and wring our wisdom awake. And we, afterwards, wince in pain. Maybe next time…


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