Photo by Christopher Raley

Judgement

Window without a screen. Fat mosquito
flies in like it’s bobbing on water.
Spring is early this year. Sky is somewhere
between afternoon and winter’s dark.

I question. He answers. He watches me
pull hard words into manner and sometimes
flings a soft barb with delayed smile.
I watch him speak those words without flinching.
And I’m the one called to cast judgement.

Stripe of high cloud turns golden over
crest of roof cut short like temptation.
How easy it is to theorize this.
He is coming to me, but I . . . am I

so different?

The darker blue the sky, the more I see
shallow neon of hidden sign.

I have to say something.
His eyes are coals.
I have to say something.
My words are waters,
from the deeps maybe,
but spread thin
like a slip of tide shooting out
from under the foam.

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