A Kind of Language

I should understand something by now
I’ve thought plenty
I should but I don’t.

When I hear you crying
I should be able to say
Yes, my tears have been a kind of language too,
and they mean that all the eyes
we’ve spoken with have not been dumb
but I cannot say anything at all.

I’m always about to discover
what it all really adds up to
and about to save you from the pain of going
where you would have to if you wanted my secret
then my dreams in geometry burn like
outdated maps and my feet stand on some
garbage hill and the roads in front and behind
are all charred ruins
and I offer you a handful of ashes

Forget it you say
and you care just as much as me
or just as little
and our minds hold each other by a thread
of electric pain which is very small
and very easy to switch on and off
and usually it is the easy darkness

I should understand something by now
I try to be obedient
but I always leave school early
for this twisted, unruly refuge

I should not wander or feel sorry for myself
but some words are too hard and too loud a lesson
for my mind ever to unlearn.