It isn’t clear–
In the curve of his back
Or his shoulders, hunched over
Into a rib cage cave, protective and secret,
Somewhere comforting where he shies away from confronting–
Why here and now,
In the dappled sunlight on a very public lawn in front of an office building,
Not far from a cheerful blinking sign that reads, “Here Forever”
He has chosen to stop–
To feel, to shake, to heave and sob uncontrollably,
Crying into something invisible that absorbs his grief–
Or, maybe it’s that he has no choice but to pour it out in front of us.

It isn’t clear–
From his hidden face,
Tucked into the crook of his arm like a bird tucks its beak under a wing–
What could stop a man, bring him to his knees,
Force him to spill everything out until his voice disappears
Amidst a parade of intentionally oblivious couples and families,
Sticky hands, holding hands, sunglasses, laughter,
Walking past with darting glances, picnic baskets, plastic toys–
Not a single one stops to ask if he’s okay
Or puts a soothing hand on his back, human being that he is,
Shaking, shuddering, desolate–
Which, ironically, might be just what he’s missing.

Advertisements