Mark Forbes

Beyond Words

by John Califano

today I passed you
on the sidewalk
&&& awkwardly
you looked at me
alarmed and fearful
&&&&!&!I
immediately understood
your
&&&true
&&&&&&feelings
deeply troubled and confused
&&&&we both
spoke with our eyes
desperately
trying to navigate
the raging sea
of face masks
&&&&&&&&all
socially distanced
self-censored
locked down
emotionally quarantined
deafening the silent chorus
of collective paranoia
imbued with a newfound sense
of self-serving designer moralism
does anyone
&&&&&&&know that
I secretly longed to cradle your cheeks
and kiss you tenderly?
please forgive me
I am weak and sadly human
&&&&&&not now
but maybe someday
we shall meet, once again
whole and alone
naked of fear
in a sacred, holy place
where
there is
no
darkness
&

John Califano

John Califano lives in the once vibrant and culturally stimulating City of New York where he contemplates his existence, and works helping at-risk parolees transition back into the workforce. He’s worked as a writer, actor, visual artist, and musician. His work is featured in The Broadkill Review, The Willesden Herald’s New Short Stories Series (UK), Adelaide Review, The Writing Disorder, Poetry Super Highway, Across the Margin, and Embark.

Artist: Mark Forbes


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