“Wait a minute, I wasn’t done.”

“You’re done,” he said.


Well, he didn’t say it. But he moved it.

The tone of the words he didn’t say

Said it and it echoed

Like a cowbell on a neck

Between two mountainsides.


Back and forth and

Back and forth

Until one forth and no more back

And, “You’re done.”

But silent.


A slippery tear fell down

But tears never roll

In a straight line.

They zigzag from your heart to your eyes

And echo like a horn blown inside a cave

At night with firelight

Until the flame is blown away.


He didn’t say it but he showed it

And his movement was stillness

Like the distance between sleeping and running:

Where running is gasping for breath

And air

And space

With no time to wait between inhale and exhale

And sleep is slow and steady and unaware.


“Wait for me, I want to sit down.”

“You’re too slow,” he said.


Well, he didn’t say it. But he stood it.

Stood over it like a calculation

He could see from above

Like triangles and squares

Written on landscapes.

The mechanics of his breathing calculator

Echoed like the ticking of a clock

Dropped inside a hollowed pot

And tock.


Up and down and

Up and down my heart

Filled up and one more down

And down.

And, “Go faster.”

But slow.


An emptying of all that was,

Scattered on the ground,

And the pieces echoed like the wind

Between the trees

In a forest with only leaves.


“Wait a minute, I wasn’t done.”

“You’re done,” he said.

And I was.


Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: jakace958