The Quiet

Gael Rapon

by Karen Shepard

I take it personally, braid it into my hair, tie it around my index finger
so that I don’t forget, put it in my shoe to pain my every step,
sprinkle a dash of in my morning coffee so that I keep tasting it.
I hear it’s not about me so I try to bury how I couldn’t make myself vomit,
how I failed to even reach my finger down far enough to bring up all that nothing.

I remember a therapist asking me if I could touch my body, place my hand on my thigh or rest it on my hip, if I could look at myself naked in the mirror…
that question is a ghost that sits beside me in this quiet.

Artist: Gael Rapon 

Karen Shepherd lives in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys walking in forests and listening to the rain. Her poetry and short fiction have been published in various online and print journals, including most recently Elephants Never, Neologism Poetry Journal, Cirque Journal and Mojave Heart Review. Most of her words live in files on her laptop.