I, Fish, Wall, Parents, Snap! (1980)

They dart like shadow upon shadow
Content in their regulated, placid world.
Enclosed from above by fluorescent light,

Behind them a wall that’s more that wood and plaster,
A mile wide yet paper-thick, which is strength enough.

The wallpaper endures no tricks from the light
That is diffused through the veil that is a curtain
Which will never seek audience.

Morning, and behind the wall, a world of voices hurting
Without precaution, while I am forced to listen
For fears, of detection, or of curiosity?

I won’t go, where were you, I was depressed, two days?
The echoes hang and then absorbed through the wall
For my benefit.

The wall, that separates the tranquility, ignorance, bliss,
From the harsh oppressive reality of marital mistrust.
All’s quiet of the home front: the smile falls with the face.

 

1980

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