All that Wasn't

i wonder how many conversations
in this café
my ring has stolen from me
what sort of messages were left
beneath the band
without the knowing that the ring
is sworn to silence
the unusual repellent gleam, turning about my skin

but then, how many for her?
who's worn rings, a decade, on her cheek bones
hung them from her ears,
punched them like Braille in her energy,
hidden her breasts and legs and secret perfection
behind them

how many men could speak to her more kindly,
in a pitch and meter more taking
which she believes not to exist
on account of all the silence

don't turn over your ring too quickly
darling, i'm sure
the roar of those notes is almost too much

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