closeup photo of a woman with gray cables on his mouth

Perhaps I Will Stop Talking

I can open my mouth
And say nothing
Of consequence
And somehow
It says everything
To those who make
Snap assumptions
Presumptions
Decisions
About my life
And it's lack
Of afflictions.

My voice says
It is from one place
While my body and soul
Are from another
Entirely different
Juxtaposed
Diagonally
Intersected
Across the lines
And hiding in 
A cave or forest
Place I perpetually 
Exist and belong in. 

It says I have more
Of, 
While I struggle 
With less than
Time 
and 
Time
And Unspoken 
Time again. 
My voice says
Cultured like a pearl
My soul has been
Through the seven
Rings of someones'
Rougher
Tougher
Hell. 

My voice does 
Not belong to me. 
I borrowed it 
From someone 
Else who lived a different
Life, free from strife
Who is sitting in 
Some ivory attic
Of an venerable 
Institution
Somewhere utterly
Static
While I move
And drift
Across states
Of distress and 
Sorrow,
Crossing county
Lines in a forever
Safe somewhere
Far away
Tomorrow. 

I have a cuckoo soul
It doesn't dare ask
For whom this bell 
Or that ringtone
Tolls.
I have a hermit crab
Self
Throwing a voice
From a place I escaped
Long ago
Echoing seductively
Across the winding
Ocean, driving
People to
Painfully
Wrong 
Conclusions.
I look in the mirror
And see so much
Less than. 

Will I throw myself
Upon the transforming
Tide
I have ridden and I 
Will ride
Until I finally
Manage to 
Outrun
What others
Think 
of 
me. 
Snap judgement
Pocket and
Pidgeon 
Hole 
Me. 

Perhaps I will
Stop talking
Perhaps I will
Stop talking
Perhaps
I 
Will
Stop

Talking

8 Comments

    1. The Paltry Sum: Detroit Richards

      I wont…but, small caveat, sometimes i have to blow off steam: comments and presumptions about me because of my voice, the only voice I have, really upset me. People want to guess where and why and how. People make assumptions about who and what I am, and the privilege I have, when I have lived an adult and juvenile life full of hardship, torture, abuse, poverty and homelessness. They declare me “NOT AMERICAN” when that is both not how I see myself, I am a patriot, an American, I live here and I love here. Here is my safety. It really makes me want to never open my mouth again.

  1. Ruth

    Assumptions are one thing, judgments based on those assumptions quite something else. I get how frustrating (and undermining) that must be. xxx

  2. Ellie Thompson

    Painful but beautiful words. You have such talent as a poet and writer, Detroit. Your words stay vividly in my mind and I think of you even though I might not be obviously present. Don’t stop writing – please. Writing is so cathartic and, if it’s not too late to be healed, it can be healing too. Take good care of yourself and your young one. Ellie xx đź’—

    1. The Paltry Sum: Detroit Richards

      Dear Ellie, I will never heal. I might one day learn to live with the damage better than I do now, but healing is impossible. I will continue writing, but I really do have to take a few days here and there right now after I ended up in the ER with a suspected heart attack that turned out to be pretty severe costochondritis and high blood pressure.
      It is always strange to hear that people enjoy my writing. I don’t write to be read – I tried that and it didn’t work. It only works when I write like no one is watching. I hope at least I can comfort, or educate, or enliven someone’s day, at least get them thinking about the world we live in. I was involved in the Write To Change The World workshop and am continuing my links with the Op Ed Project, hopefully. Let’s see what I can do!

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