Could the light of this new love be switched
Off by red-and-white stripes, by incisions
Which out of spite and shame were left unstitched,
And remain to tell of poor decisions?
Thinking this, her attention I divert;
Skilled in the art of verbal evasion,
I never explain how a hug could hurt.
Instead, I push away her persuasion—
Until hearing the nightfall in her speech,
Until noting how well her whiskeyed words
Settle into my shadows, and then teach
Their murky mind-songs to my silent birds.
Now I speak no lies of a cat clawing,
Since she is drowning what I am drawing.