I could say betrayal    I could say there is love

and it doesn’t touch this sadness    I could say

you are rain falling   you are mist rising

and icicles forming    I am a stream   a river

moving along the bed of the earth and we are

elementally the same but formally opposites

I could say language is a gauze on the

crusted heart   I could say language is all

we have    is the house we build and tear down

build and tear down   I could say …

I could say before we used words our eyes

spoke    I will say when we got off the phone

and I walked outside   the cottontail’s ears

quivered as the light at dusk shone through them.
*Original music accompanying these poems were written by Steve Jones who is a composer, musician, songwriter, and teacher who lives in Kensington, MD. He has written two jazz musicals.

Joanne Rocky Delaplaine’s poems have previously appeared in Poet Lore, International Poetry Quarterly, Beltway Poetry Quarterly (featured poet, Walt Whitman issue and anti-war issues), The Northern Virginia Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is currently a co-director of the Café Muse, a poetry reading series in the Washington, metropolitan community.