As Though Someone Else Has Praised This Night and These Are Her Words

Mike Puican

After reading Muriel Dockendorff Navarrete (1951 – 1974) 


As though your words existed before you wrote them,
and you have entered her life—

in her cell, where no one hears her cries
except her torturers and they have gone for the night.

Now she, who was not to be heard from
again, will not stop talking.

Her head is throbbing; her heart is pounding.
Imagine her heart is now your heart.

She knows the men will return. Faintly
she whispers praise to her soon-to-be-finished life.

Her words incise the silence in the night.
They are not what you want.

In the end no human strength can resist.
Sound fades until only a cry, a word, a name?—yours.

The thread you count on to lead you home is not your own.
The song you sing is not your own.

It does not praise what you want.