This poem won 1st prize in the 1998
Association's Poetry Contest.
The deadest smile that ever scaled a face
Was brighter than these pale white, empty walls.
Worn tracks of furniture I can't replace
Haunt me like stale regrets. Some nights she
Entangled in old dreams that still defy
Our sensible despair. The phones that twist
Our voices close present the fleeting lie
That we still share some space. But soon, the
Of practical absurditiesóthe mail,
Lawyers' fees, locks on doorsódraws out the
Behind cool phrases. And then our voices fail
As silence settles on us like defeat.
Our talking now is just a hollow show;
We murdered conversation weeks ago.
© 1999; originally printed in
The Cumberland Poetry
Review. Reprinted by permission of the