Poetry Porch: Poetry


What You Say to Yourself When No One Answers
by Rebecca Seiferle

donít defend yourself

donít betray the confidences of others to make yourself shine more foolís gold

donít defend yourself

even if she says that you slept with every woman who ever spoke to you

even if he accuses you of crimes

do not betray

the prophets
of your own heart

you are a bridge so others may tranverse their sufferings

you are the moment that grants them enough bread to get through

the starving
of a particular hour or day

do not betray this, all these moments of softness,

in order to make yourself
look better

in her eyes
he would not believe you anyway

let her condemn you if she is driven to condemn you, let her judge, jury
and execute you, or drive you into exile, if he is driven to judge,
jury and execute

she is suffering too, but you cannot bridge the suffering in him

just because she holds
you to account

you are not the coinage of restitution

donít defend

the armor and take up the sword, even in self-defense, and particularly
the armor of self-justification and the sword of self-righteousness

and so betray


so what if softness is unfashionable, who has use for flowers anymore, if mockery
attends every blooming as catcalls of the outdated
and outmoded,


the cells that form in the womb, the sprout that rises from the splitting dicotyledon,
the hairs of your head, even the hand

resting against the face of your sleep,

are green,
growing, forming
and fetal,

as water
flowing under stone, cutting under the bank, always finding its way
back to the depths and to the river in the sky

consider the distances

bridge them
and be soft

Copyright © 2012 by Rebecca Seiferle.