Put your glasses on the table.
Put out your cigarette.
Wash your hands.
Dry your mouth.
Take out the knife.
Look at the wood.
These were my promised lands.
Guiding my hands toward something constructive.
To an object, everlasting.
To something that we both wanted.
Something to look back upon.
We never moulded wood together, never carved into its hard flesh.
I was introduced to emptiness.
To promises enveloping.
To death knocking on the woody table.
To a longing unfinished, unlived, starved.
Objects of war, brought back to wailing mothers,
Letters getting heavier and heavier within the closet’s shelves.
You wrote and wrote, your tireless hand and ongoing mind,
But the thoughts never crossed your lips, from thine to mine,
Stories need to be told, you buried them on paper,
Let the postman carry your guilt and bad conscience around,
But you were given a tongue, you need to speak,
I need to understand where you’re coming from.
“Reading the Letter / Orphans” by Thomas Benjamin Kennington (1856-1916)