Some People Want Our Words

This poem is not about a specific person.  Advisory – the content implies sexual assault.

Some People Want Our Words
You reached out
and the words we gave each other
started the tears to stream
and the breath to catch.
The clack of the keys.
I answered, I tried to…
tried to find the words…
to find you…somewhere…
somewhere under your night terrors,
regrets, exhaustion, hopelessness.
For one hour we chose
those words
with care.
We put our whole hearts
within those words.
Yes, we risked it
putting it all out there,
on the line
out there
on the crisis line.
Some people want our words.
They say they can
if they erase your name.
Feels like someone’s trying
to erase your name, again.
Their names are strange ones,
like Inc and Org, Non-Profit and
Institutional Review Board.
They say they have the ethics
for waiving consent goodbye, without asking.
But I was there.
I remember how the word ‘no’
was all you had.
I believe you. And please,
you believe, too, it wasn’t your fault.
I still feel your light shining
through the words
you gave me, and
no thieves of our words
can take that away.
Tim Reierson
August 1, 2022