The Question

I want to find love, she tells me, looking straight into me but not really seeing, I think. I want to be loved, she says, and I told her that she was loved, like I was passing on a message.

I see history in her eyes but she never speaks of it. The same girl in another country. Her hands are clean but stained. There are few tents and little rain. The money has run dry but she reaches inside for kindness and treasure. She gives and gives. And never speaks of it.

I want a family, she says and I want that too I said, shivering. I wasn’t in love, I was pretending to be cold.

There is a quality to her voice when she speaks. When she speaks I can hear emotion, a long e, when she speaks it sounds like she is listening. I remember how I felt when I first met her. Now I feel that even more. I say nothing and hope she isn’t listening.

She cries and I cry and the perfect time to hold her comes and stays. I say nothing, let it pass. We argue, flatter, offer each other words of comfort and pray to the God I hold most precious.

What could be so important
that I would leave that room silent
with no regrets?

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