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Listening

Hearing you, I try to listen,
The words are forming in my mouth, 
but I hold them back in order to swallow yours.
They taste of emotions that sometimes
make no sense to me
in the context you present,
and yet
I try to hear each word before
forming a response or 
an opinion.
It isn't easy because
many of your words carry weapons 
and traps that I must duck or sidestep to 
avoid a parry that would escalate in
an explosion of words at you
with you
against you
even, for you.
I listen. I process. 
The sounds have life of their own, colors of their own,
sometimes meanings that they carry hidden within.
Sometimes wearing the costume of other meanings that I 
must somehow see through
to get to what you are really trying to tell me.
Your words carry pain, 
yours sometimes and what
you wish you could inflict on those who hurt you.
But it is me, hearing and listening, 
who is the recipient, 
the urn where the ashes of your
words are kept.
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

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