Voices

by Sara Young

I. Love’s Voice

Like honey dripping from the sweetest mouth,

Your whispered words upon me land,

To caress my skin, then melt like clay,

As though they were never there.

 

Syllables softly slurred into bedsheets,

Slowly at first. Your words, then hers, then his.

Sentiments remembered, forgotten, lost.

Our voices intermingled, tangled, then

Separate.

 

II.

 

Purity twists into grey; uncertainty.

Your lover’s words become like snakes,

Your kisses on my neck; coils to strangle me,

The words from your tongue drip like poison.

 

Your voice; once tender, now cuts me.

And into my life this hurt, this uncertainty, bleeds.

In my fragility I leant on your distortion,

You trampled on my voice.

Now I trample upon it too.

 

III. Fear Voiced

 

Utterances disguised as my own, but not my own

Plague me. Venomous words ooze like drops of acid,

Out of her mouth. My mind’s mouth.

Her presence overwhelms that of my own.

Her voice is toxic.

 

A faceless stranger, this depression upon me creeps,

And like a void she takes. Piece by piece I crumble

Under her oppression. Until I become a void in myself.

Devoid of me, devoid of life, devoid of voice.

Collapsing inward.

 

IV. 

 

And my heart races, though not like before;

In these moments I cannot breathe, I cannot speak.

My thoughts become screams, and I become

Crippled by the intensity of emotion of my own making.

The voice has become me, and I the voice.

Whole days spent in bed with a new lover,

The blinds drawn, we sit in darkness.

My tongue rendered to her, my soul

Trapped.

 

V. My Voice

 

Thus, I wonder, having lived so little but so long,

If there are any fragments of me I can claim truly as mine.

Still, I hear her voice. Then yours, then his soon after,

Until I can no longer hear my own.

 

My words spoken over, drowned out,

By thoughts which have been interrupted countless times.

I wonder if I am capable of finishing anything anymore;

Much less my own sentences.

 

And this the greatest sentence of all;

Life without life. With speech diminished.

 

Like a river your voice flows smooth,

Over me, to graze my skin.

But the water carries rocks.