In the Depths of Silence

by Emily Strauss

Sometimes out here

in deep silence with endless

stars, no light, an empty

road, a fire made small

against the vast mountains

alone, dirty and cold


You wish you could run

back to some primal nest

some warm blanket-filled

room with thick pillows

heavy drapes, framed

oils of an Italian village

Maidenhair fern on a walnut

dresser, a quilted coverlet


Though no such place

ever existed, no hiding

place can ever be found

no one will wrap the night

for you, there is no holding

of warmth or freeing of pain.


There is only this skin

pervious and flimsy

this instant

this ground

you must sit silently

and accept it without flinching.