Not Quite

There are trigger words you like
to shoot

to abruptly deter me,

like a half closed cap of
an upturned bottle.

You do this so I won’t feel helpless,
despite the obvious blows on my soul.

A word
slingshots after the last letter,
and I’m left, static and bemused

by the dirty words that silence me.

Still,
this silence
is not tyrannical.
I live within muted colors, not suffocating colors.

I think it is a lie, your protection.
The inclusive ambience
is meant to exclude
Me, I know.

And in burning days, you wish
nice –ooh, that word! –
gestures
wouldn’t bother you

Yes, the sweat rolls
off into our grimy sinks
One day soon, the auspicious
word
will slip,
“Quiet”
“Not quite,” I’ll proclaim;

I’ll walk
to the other side

and you, on the
kitchen floor.

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