Unmentionables

What can’t be said aloud

or even blown into an envelope

placed in a bottle and set to sea

or kept beneath your pillow in diary

those words and feelings without words cannot

find a place of expression

for a multitude of reasons or just one

you carry them around like a weight

dripping from your neck

sometimes in a weak moment

you feel yourself urging to spill

the bunting and string it high

confidences for everyone to see

what’s the worst that could happen?

and yet, you know, the worst

is bad enough to keep

you quiet

how many others, you wonder

carry their own list of unmentionables

and what would they be?

any in common or always unique?

if you let someone know

the sum of you

would they

grow bored?

become disgusted?

smile and say ‘i understand’

when they did not?

who can understand the deep of us?

where we dare not venture, let alone another

what permissions given and retracted

exist?

like the long necked lillies that spring

miraculously from dry texan ground

after it has rained and

the electric mist has caused wonder

to touch the barren

perhaps it is a sign when

you can talk of such things

late into the night

with a stranger you will never

meet again

or that you whisper to yourself

the varied outcomes of confession

strung on a tree, lighting dark road

no, sometimes it is best

we model our forefathers and mothers

who knew what to keep to themselves

for years they held them in jars

turning to the light once in a while

and when they died, sometimes you would find

one survived the cull

and everyone would hush and hold their breaths

in inky silence

not sure of how to respond

somehow a secret after you are gone

doesn’t hold the same concern

and maybe they were free of them

in that hour

when all who knew, discovered

they had not

known them at all