A sigh signals some sort of disclosure.
– glancing over his eyeglass frames
at the slow downward tilt of her chest
her gingham blouse rises again
as she inhales energy for her words,
words intended to clarify or confuse,
he does not know.
His own exhale and a frowning brow
signal that he is listening-
to judge whether her statement
is real or fancy.
Her words a mercury for her mood
no gauge left as he guesses
seeking to understand her,
to crawl through her veins like a virus,
to know her every desire,
every expectation, even every fear.
He is adrift in his own flaws,
unable to grasp precisely her feelings, her expressions.
His distrust is great whether of himself or of her.
Salt honesty with caprice and tasty fare is spoiled.
Gripping the arm of his chair,
muscles straining to lurch forward,
he escapes toward the door
leaving her words
to fill the hollow behind him.
Tomorrow he may choose valor,
today the fear of authenticity scares him to his den.
"Man, perhaps alone of all living forms, is capable of being one thing and seeming from his actions and talk to be something else." Sidney M. Jourard, The Transparent Self.
*This is a revision of a previous draft.