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Tock

by Mark Irwin


You play this game slowly before falling asleep.
Each tries to make the softest, barely audible sound,
And it is about all that you could never say.

Next to a person you love, face up to face,
Start audibly at first, the sound’s made with your tongue.
You play this game slowly before falling asleep.

The room is swallowed in darkness, but what lies beneath?
Quietly above, the vault of stars moves round,
And it is about all that you could never say.

You held her, said you loved her, but she walked away;
Outside stones lie buried deep beneath snow.
You play this game slowly before falling asleep.

Whatever does not occur is yours, forever, to keep.
The stars are no one’s mirror. Say window, say home,
And it is about all that you could never say.

Listen long enough and what was color becomes sound.
Against the enormous dark, her small face remains blonde.
You play this game slowly before falling asleep,
And it is about all that you could never say.

 

Mark Irwin’s Against the Meanwhile is available from Weslayan. (1994)


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